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Gift  of 




«712  Emerald  Ave 

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The  LMinistry  of  Healing 

Miracles  of  Cure  in  All  Ages 



A.  J.  Gordon 


New  York 

Copyright  by  Howakd  Ganmbt*. 



Have  there  been  any  miracles  since  theaposlles? — Tradi- 
tional answer— Unreasonable  dread  of  miracles  — 
Healing  and  regeneration — Demand  of  the  age  respect- 
ing the  supernatural —  Growing  sway  of  naturalism — 
How  it  can  be  resisted.         ...  ...  ...        I 


Christ  bearing  our  sicknesses  —  Forgiveness  and  healing  — 
Signs  promised  in  the  great  commission  —Comments 
of  Bullinger  and  Bengel  on  the  same  —  Promise  in 
Tames  —  The  threefold  test  of  perpetuity  —  Lange  on 
anointing.  ...  ..  ...  ...      16 


Archbishop  Tillotson. —  "  Very  agreeable  to  reason  " —  The 
cessation  theory  against  analogy — Miracles  not  abnor- 
mal—  Considered  as  signs  —  The  first  fruits  of  re- 
demption—  Miracles  of  healing  distinguished  from 
other  miracles  —  Views  of  Ellicott  and  Godet  as  to 
their  continuance.  ...  ...  "39 


Dr.  Gerhard  Uhlhorn's  verdict  on  the  teaching  of  the 
Fathers  —  Justin  Martyr,  Irenaeus,  Terullian,  Origen, 
Clement  —  Decline  of  apostolic  miracles  —  The  age  of 
Constantine  —  Revival  of  miracles  with  revival  of 
faith  —  Doctrine  of  the  Waldenses  on  miraculous 
healing— The  Moravians  hold  and  practice  it  —  The 
Huguenots —Wonderful  records  among  the    Cove- 


nanters — Friends,  Baptists  and  Methodists  all  bear 
witness  —  Joseph  Benson's  story.  ...  ...      58 


Augustine —  His  view  defined  by  Trench  —  He  tells  the 
story  of  a  miracle  of  healing  —  Luther's  strong  faith  — 
He  raises  Melancthon  from  mortal  sickness  —  Mycon- 
ius  called  back  from  the  gates  of  death  —  Baxter's 
strong  testimony  and  personal  experience  —  Bengel 
pronounces  for  modern  miracles  —  Edward  Irving's 
views — Thomas  Erskine's  doctrine  and  proof — Bush- 
nell,  "  miracles  and  supernatural  gifts  not  discontin- 
ued '' — Other  witnesses.        ...  ...  ...      87 


Importance  of  evidence  from  this  field  —  Argument  of  Prof. 
Christlieb  —  His  strong  endorsement  of  missionary 
miracles  —  Instances  cited  by  him  —  Testimony  of 
Grotius— Witness  of  missionaries  themselves — Preach- 
ing the  gospel  with  signs  following  —  A  commenta- 
tor's prayer.         ...  ...  ...  ...     116 


False  miracles  a  witness  to  the  true. — Antichrist  and  his  lying 
wonders  —  Spiritualism  and  Necromancy— The  spu- 
rious should  not  prejudice  us  against  the  genuine  — 
Christlieb  on  miracles  in  the  last  days — Erskine  on 
Satan's  use  of  the  church's  denial  —  Caution  and 
watchfulness  required.  ...  ...  ...     131 


Some  who  have  practiced  the  ministry  of  healing —  Dorothea 
Trudel  —  Her  remarkable  consecration,  and  power  in 
prayer—  Her  persecutions  and  triumphs  —  Home  for 
healing  at  Manncdorf  —  Samuel  Zellcr  her  successor— 


Pastor  Blumhardt  —  His  devoted  life— Striking  In- 
stance of  cure  and  its  effect  —  Pastor  Stockmayer — 
His  exposition  of  the  doctrine  of  sickness  and  heal- 
ing—  Pastor  Rein  —  His  saintly  character  and  apos- 
tolic works — Lord  Radstock's  views  —  Dr.  Cullis  and 
his  work  of  faith  in  Boston.  ...  ...  ...     144 


JOne  thing  I  know"— Value  of  experience  —  Story  of  Miss 
Fancourt's  healing  —  Her  venerable  father's  confirma- 
tion —  Evil  entreated  —  A  cripple  healed  —  Comment 
of  Rev.  Morgan  Edwards  —  The  Doctor's  story— 
Broken  arm  restored  —  Miss  Jennie  Smith — The  all 
night  prayer  meeting  —  The  victory  of  faith  —  Reflec- 
tions. ...  ...  ...  ...     174 


Jellet  on  miracles  —  False  theory  of  sickness — Healing  rare 
because  faith  is  rare  —  God's  sovereignty  not  to  be 
contravened  —  Value  of  testimony  cited  —  Danger  of 
denying  the  supernatural  —  Unbelief  of  our  time- 
Effect  of  miracles  of  healing  on  their  subjects.  ...     195 


Too  much  not  to  be  demanded  of  the  church  of  to-day— 
Heresy  to  be  avoided  —  Dangers  of  fanaticism  — 
Need  of  study  and  quietness  —  Prof.  Godet — The 
true  secret  of  knowledge  —  A  memorable  instance  of 
national  prayer  —  Caution  against  dogmatism  and 
pride.  ...  ...  ...  ...    209 


The  prayer  of  faith  a  great  attainment  —  Coleridge's  testi- 
mony —  How  reached  —  Three  conditions  —  Commun- 
ion, obedience,  submission  —  Thy  will  be  done  — 
Words  to  the  sick.  ...  ...  ...    234 



Have  there  been  any  miracles  since  the  days  of 
the  apostles?  To  this  question  the  common  an- 
swer has  been,  in  our  times  at  least,  a  decided  no. 
A  call  recently  put  forth  in  one  of  our  religious  jour- 
nals, asking  the  opinion  of  ministers,  teachers  and 
theological  professors  on  this  point  was  very  largely 
answered ;  and  the  respondents  were  well  nigh 
unanimous  in  the  opinion  that  the  age  of  miracles 
passed  away  with  the  apostolic  period.  The  state- 
ment contained  in  several  of  these  replies  gave 
evidence  indeed  that  the  question  had  never  been 
deeply  investigated  by  the  witnesses.  In  some 
instances  there  was  a  perhaps  unintentional 
evading  of  the  issue  by  the  question  "  What  is  a 
miracle?  -  But  there  were  only  one  or  two  replies 
which  gave  countenance  to  the  view,  that  miracles 
are  possible  in  all  ages  and  have  appeared  more  or 


less  numerously  in  every  period  of  the  Church5 c 
history.  If  then  the  little  book  which  we  now 
send  forth  shall  win  any  assent  for  its  views,  it  will 
not  do  so  in  all  probability  because  its  sentiments 
accord  with  the  opinion  of  the  majority  of  the 
theologians  of  the  day. 

It  is  therefore  no  enviable  task  which  we  have 
undertaken.  The  demand  of  the  times  is  rather  in 
the  contrary  direction  from  that  in  which  our  con- 
viction  carries  us.  "The  strongest  requirement 
now  pressing  on  the  Church  is  for  an  adaptation 
of  Christianity  to  the  age,"  —  so  we  read  not  long 
since.  How  presumptuous  it  will  look  in  the  face 
of  such  an  utterance  for  one  to  set  his  face  squarely 
in  the  opposite  direction,  and  insist  that  the  great 
est  present  demand  is  for  the  adaptation  of  the 
age  to  Christianity.  And  not  that  exactly;  for 
"  this  present  evil  age  "  can  never  be  made  to  har- 
monize with  a  religion  that  is  entirely  heavenly  in 
its  origin,  in  its  course  and  in  its  consummation. 
But  wc  trust  it  will  not  be  presumption  to  say  that 
the  Church  in  every  direction  needs  to  be  re-shaped 
to  the  apostolic  model  and  re-invested  with  her 
apostolic  powers.  For  is  it  not  apparent  that  be- 
tween the  indignant   clamor   of   skeptics  against 


primitive  miracles,  and  the  stern  frowning  of  theolo- 
gians upon  any  alleged  modern  miracles,  the  Lord's 
people  are  in  danger  of  being  frightened  out  of 
their  faith  in  the  supernatural  ?  We  speak  of  what 
we  have  often  noticed.  A  simple  hearted  believer 
comes  into  the  assembly  of  the  Church  and  details 
some  remarkable  answer  to  prayer  —  prayer  for 
healing  or  prayer  for  deliverance,  in  response  to 
which  he  alleges  that  God  has  wrought  marvel- 
lously ;  and  then  we  notice  the  slowness  and  shy- 
ness with  which  Christians  turn  their  ears  to  the 
story,  and  the  glances  of  embarrassment  amount- 
ing almost  to  shamefacedness  which  they  cast 
towards  the  minister,  as  though  appealing  for  res- 
cue from  the  perilous  neighborhood  of  fanaticism 
to  which  they  have  been  drawn.  This  we  have 
often  observed,  and  on  it  we  have  pondered,  and 
from  it  we  have  raised  the  question  again  and  again, 
whether  the  Church  has  not  drifted  into  an  un- 
seemly cautiousness  concerning  the  miraculous. 
As  a  religion  which  is  ritual  is  sure  to  put 
vestments  on  her  ministers  sooner  or  later,  so  a 
religion  which  is  rational  rather  than  spiritual, 
will  be  certain  to  put  vestments  on  the  Lord's  prov- 
idences, insisting  on  their  being  draped  in  the  ha- 


biliments  of  decent  cause  and  effect,  and  attired  in 
the  surplice  of  natural  law  and  order,  lest  God 
should  "  make  bare  his  holy  arm  in  the  eyes  of  all 
the  nations."  "The  world  dislikes  the  recurrence 
of  miracles."  Yes,  without  question.  For  the 
world  which  "  by  wisdom  knew  not  God "  is  very 
jealous  of  everything  which  it  cannot  explain  or 
reproduce.  "A  miracle  is  something  very  embar- 
rassing to  mock  professors."  Doubtless;  for  it 
brings  such,  uncomfortably  near  to  God.  Accus- 
tomed only  to  such  manifestations  of  the  Infinite 
as  have  been  softened  and  assuaged  by  passing 
through  the  medium  of  the  natural,  they  cannot 
bear  this  close  proximity  to  the  Cause  of  causes. 
"  He  that  is  near  to  me  is  near  to  the  fire ; "  is  one 
of  the  sayings  which  apocrypha  puts  into  the  mouth 
of  Christ.  How  shall  they  whose  feet  have  never 
put  off  their  shoes  of  rationalism  and  worldliness 
come  near  the  burning  bush,  and  into  open  vision 
of  the  "I  am." 

But  it  is  not  worldlings  and  false  professors  alone 
that  dislike  miracles.  Real.true  hearted  and  sincere 
disciples  are  afraid  of  them  and  inclined  to  push 
away  with  quick  impatience,  any  mention  of  their 
possible  occurrence  in  our  time.     In  most  cases 


probably  this  aversion  comes  from  a  wholesome 
fear  of  fanaticism. 

On  which  point  permit  us  to  observe :  —  that 
fanaticism  is  in  most  instances  simply  the  eccentric 
action  of  doctrines  that  have  been  loosened  from 
their  connection  with  the  Christian  system.  Every 
truth  needs  the  steadiness  and  equipoise  which 
come  from  its  being  bound  into  harmony  with  all 
other  truths.  If  the  Church  by  her  neglect  or  de- 
nial of  any  real  doctrine  of  the  faith  thrusts  that 
doctrine  out  into  isolation  and  contempt,  thus  com- 
pelling it  to  become  the  property  of  some  special 
sect  she  need  not  be  surprised  if  it  loses  its  bal- 
ance. She  has  deprived  it  of  the  conserving  influ- 
ence which  comes  from  contact  and  communion  with 
other  and  central  doctrines  and  so  doomed  it  inevi- 
tably to  irregular  manifestations.  If  the  whole  body 
of  Christians  had  been  faithful  to  such  truths  as 
that  of  the  second  coming  of  Christ,  and  scriptu- 
ral holiness,  for  example,  we  probably  should  never 
have  heard  of  the  fanaticism  of  adventism  and  per- 
fectionism. Let  a  fragment  be  thrown  off  from 
the  most  orderly  planet  and  it  will  whirl  and  rush 
through  space  till  it  is  heated  hot  by  its  own  mo- 
mentum.    It  is  nothing  against  a  doctrine  in  our 


minds  therefore  that  it  has  engendered  fanaticism. 
One  who  studies  the  history  of  important  religious 
revivals  indeed  must  take  quite  an  opposite  view, 
and  suspect  that  it  is  a  proof  of  the  vitality  of  the 
truth  around  which  it  has  gathered. 

Who  that  is  acquainted  with  the  religious  move- 
ments led  by  Luther  and  Wesley  and  with  the  end- 
less extravagances  that  followed  in  their  wake  does 
not  see  that  in  these  instances  the  stir  produced 
came  from  the  writhing  of  wounded  error  rather 
than  from  the  birth  of  falsehood,  from  the  contor- 
tions of  the  strangled  serpents  around  the  cradle  of 
a  new  Hercules  come  for  reformation.  So  let  us 
be  less  disturbed  by  the  unaccustomed  stir  of  truth 
than  by  the  propriety  of  dead  and  decent  error. 

But  we  are  offering  no  apology  for  fanaticism  and 
providing  no  place  for  it  in  connection  with  the  doc- 
trine which  we  are  defending.  It  need  have  no 
place.  We  believe  in  regeneration,  the  work  in 
which  God  comes  into  immediate  contact  with  the 
soul  for  its  renewal  That  is  no  less  a  miracle  than 
healing  in  which  God  comes  into  immediate  con- 
tact with  the  body  for  its  recovery.  In  the  one 
case  there  is  a  direct  communication  of  the  divine 
life  to  the  spirit,  which  Neander  calls  "  the  stand- 


ing  miracle  of  the  ages ;  "  in  the  other  there  is  a 
direct  communication  of  the  divine  health  to  the 
body  which  in  the  beginning  was  called  "  a  miracle 
of  healing."  An  able  writer  has  said,  we  believe 
with  exact  truth :  "  You  ask  God  to  pet  form  as  real 
a  miracle  when  you  ask  him  to  cure  your  soul  of  sin 
as  you  do  when  you  ask  him  to  cure  your  body  of  a 
fever."*  Yet  who  of  us  thinks  of  encouraging 
fanaticism  by  preaching  and  praying  for  man's 
regeneration  ?  Enthusiasm  has  often  kindled  about 
this  truth  indeed,  when  it  has  had  to  be  revived 
after  long  neglect  and  denial,  but  not  when  it  has 
been  held  in  orderly,  and  recognized  relation  to 
other  cardinal  doctrines. 

Very  beautifully  did  one  say  of  the  sister  of  the 
poet  Wordsworth,  that  "it  was  she  -who  couched  his 
eye  to  the  beauties  of  nature."  More  than  any- 
thing else  is  it  needed  to-day  that  some  one 
couch  the  eyes  of  Christians  to  the  realities  of  the 
supernatural.  Holden  of  unbelief,  filmed  with  sus- 
picion and  distrust,  how  many  of  the  Lord's  truest 
servants  would  be  unable  to  discern  his  hand 
if  he  were  to  put  it  forth  in  miracles.  It  is  not 
easy  for  those  whose  daily  bread  has  always  been 

*  Jellett:  Efficacy  of  Prayer;  Donnellan  Lectures,  1877,  p.  43. 


forthcoming,  with  no  occasion  for  the  raven's  min- 
istration  to  believe  in  miraculous  feeding.  The 
eyes  that  "  stand  out  with  fatness "  would  be  the 
last  ones  to  catch  sight  of  the  angels  if  they  should 
chance  to  be  sent  with  bread  to  some  starving  dis- 
ciple. To  whom  saith  the  Lord  "anoint  thine 
eyes  with  eyesalve,  that  thou  mayest  see  ?  "  Is  it 
not  to  those  that  say  "  I  am  rich  and  increased  in 
goods  and  in  need  of  nothing  ? "  If  then  we  protest 
that  we  do  not  see  what  others  claim  to  have  wit- 
nessed of  the  Lord's  out-stretched  hand,  it  may  be 
because  of  a  Laodicean  self-satisfaction  into  which 
we  have  fallen.  When  shall  we  learn  that  "the 
secret  of  the  Lord  is  with  them  that  fear  him " 
most  deeply,  and  not  of  necessity  with  those  who 
have  studied  the  doctrines  most  deeply.  And  so  if 
the  eyes  long  unused  to  any  sight  of  the  Lord's 
wonder-working  are  to  be  couched  to  the  realities 
of  the  supernatural,  it  may  be  some  very  humble 
agent  that  shall  perform  the  work,  some  saintly 
Dorothea  of  Mannedorf  at  whose  feet  theologians 
sit  to  learn  things  which  their  utmost  wisdom  had 
failed  to  grasp,  or  some  Catharine  of  Siena  who 
speaks  to  learned  ecclesiastics  with  such  depth  of 
insight  that  they  exclaim  with  astonishment  "  never 


man  spoke  like  this  woman."  In  other  words  let 
us  not  be  too  reluctant  to  admit  that  some  of  God's 
children  in  sore  poverty  and  trial  and  distress,  and 
with  the  keener  faith  which  such  conditions  have 
developed  may  have  had  dealings  with  God  of  which 
we  know  nothing.  At  all  events  be  not  angry,  Oh 
ye  wise  and  prudent,  at  those  Christians  of  simple 
faith,  who  believe  with  strong  confidence  that  they 
have  had  the  Saviour's  healing  touch  laid  upon 

Nor  should  we  unwittingly  limit  the  Lord  by  our 
too  confident  theories  about  the  cessation  of  mira- 
cles. The  rationalist  jealous  of  any  suggestion 
that  God  in  these  days  may  cross  the  boundary 
line  that  divides  the  natural  from  the  supernatural 
cries  out  against  "the  dogma  of  divine  interfer- 
ence "  as  he  names  it.  The  traditionalist  viewing 
with  equal  jealousy  any  notion  that  the  Lord  may 
pass  the  line  that  separates  the  apostolic  from  the 
post-apostolic  age,  and  still  act  in  his  office  of  mira- 
cle working  sounds  the  cry  of  fanaticism.  But 
what  if  some  meantime  should  begin  to  talk  about 
"  the  crown  rights  of  Immanuel "  as  the  old  Cove- 
nanters did,  insisting  on  his  prerogative  to  work 
what  he  will,  and  when  he  will,  and  how  he  will, 


without  our  compelling  it  to  be  said  of  us  and  o{ 
our  century  that  "  he  could  not  do  many  mighty 
works  among  them  because  of  their  unbelief?"  Cer- 
tainly  the  time  has  come  for  us  to  make  use  of  all 
the  divine  assistance  that  is  within  our  reach.  If 
there  are  any  residuary  legacies  of  power  and  priv- 
ilege accruing  to  us  since  the  fathers  fell  asleep, 
and  yet  remaining  unclaimed,  every  consideration  is 
pressing  us  to  come  forward  and  take  possession  of 
them.  For  observe  what  confessions  of  weakness 
our  Protestant  Churches  are  unconsciously  putting 
forth  on  every  hand.  Note  the  dependence  which 
is  placed  on  artistic  music,  on  expensive  edifices; 
on  culture  and  eloquence  in  the  pulpit ;  on  literary 
and  social  entertainments  for  drawing  in  the  peo- 
ple, and  on  fairs  and  festivals  for  paying  expenses 
Hear  the  reports  that  come  in  at  any  annual  con 
vention  of  Churches,  of  the  new  organs  and  fres- 
coings  and  furnishings,  and  of  the  —  not  saints'  festi- 
vals—  but  strawberry  festivals  and  ice  cream  festi- 
vals and  flower  festivals  and  the  large  results  there- 
from accruing.  And  all  this  from  Churches  that 
count  themselves  to  be  the  body  of  Christ  and  the 
habitation  of  God  through  the  Spirit !  Is  not  this 
an  infinite  descent  from  the  primitive  records  of 


power  and  success  —  the  Lord  "confirming  the 
word  with  signs  following"  and  the  preaching 
which  was  "  not  with  enticing  words  of  man's  wis- 
dom but  in  demonstration  of  the  Spirit  and  of 
power  f" 

How  deeply  we  need  the  demonstration  of  the 
Spirit  in  these  days !  We  have  not  utterly  lost  it 
indeed.  When  men  are  renewed  by  the  Holy 
Ghost,  and  give  the  world  the  exhibition  of  a  life 
utterly  and  instantly  transformed,  that  is  a  master 
stroke  for  our  divine  religion.  "And  that  is  all  we 
want,"  most  will  say.  But  did  such  ever  witness 
an  instance  of  a  drunkard  cured  in  a  moment  of 
enslaving  appetite  by  the  prayer  of  faith  ;  the  opi- 
um habit  which  had  baffled  for  years  every  device 
of  the  physicians  broken  and  utterly  eradicated  by 
the  direct  energy  of  God's  spirit ;  the  consumptive 
brought  back  from  the  edge  of  the  grave,  or  the 
blind  made  to  see  by  the  same  power,  after  long 
years  of  darkness  —  and  the  glowing  love,  the  ex- 
exultant  thankfulness,  the  fervid  consecration  which 
almost  invariably  follow  such  gracious  deliverances  ? 
If  they  have  not,  they  have  not  witnessed  a  sight 
that  has  within  our  own  time  and  knowledge  ex- 
torted conviction  from  the  most  reluctant  witnesses. 


These  are  some  of  the  practical  bearings  of  the 
question  before  us. 

It  is  not  our  purpose  in  this  volume  to  define  a 
miracle  any  further  than  we  have  already  done  so. 
For  the  definitions  generally  given  are  widely  vari- 
ant ;  and  it  is  easy  for  a  disputant  to  evade  facts  by 
entrenching  himself  behind  a  definition.  We  prefer 
rather  to  appeal  to  specimens  of  acknowledged 
miracles  and  then  to  press  the  question  whether 
there  have  been  any  like  them  in  modern  days.  It 
is  written  in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  as  follows. 
"And  it  came  to  pass,  that  the  father  of  Publius  lay 
sick  of  a  fever  and  of  a  bloody  flux ;  to  whom  Paul 
entered  in  and  prayed  and  laid  his  hands  on  him 
and  healed  him."*  This  is  conceded,  we  suppose 
to  be  a  miracle  of  healing.  Has  anything  of  the 
same  sort  occurred  in  the  Church  since  the  days  of 
the  apostles  ? 

Again  it  is  written  in  the  same  book : 

"  And  a  certain  man  lame  from  his  mother's  womb 
was  carried,  whom  they  laid  daily  at  the  gate  of  the 
temple  which  is  called  Beautiful,  to  ask  alms  of 
them  that  entered  into  the  temple :  Who,  seeing 
Peter  and  John  about  to  go  into  the  temple,  asked 

•ActoaSi  8.  i  Act*  III:  t.8. 


an  dims.  And  Peter,  fastening  his  eyes  upon  him 
with  John,  said,  Look  on  us.  And  he  gave  heed 
unto  them,  expecting  to  receive  something  of  them. 
Then  Peter  said,  silver  and  gold  have  I  none ;  but 
such  as  I  have  give  I  thee :  In  the  name  of  Jesus 
Christ  of  Nazareth,  rise  up  and  walk.  And  he 
took  him  by  the  right  hand,  and  lifted  him  up :  and 
immediately  his  feet  and  ankle  bones  received 
strength.  And  he  leaping  up  stood,  and  walked, 
and  entered  with  them  into  the  temple,  walking, 
and  leaping,  and  praising  God." 

This  transaction  is  expressly  called  a  "  miracle  of 
healing "  in  the  same  scripture.  Has  there  been 
any  recurrence  of  such  a  miracle  since  the  time 
of  Christ's  immediate  disciples  ?  It  has  been  our 
purpose  in  preparing  the  present  volume  to  let  the 
history  of  the  Church  of  all  ages  answer  to  the 
teaching  of  scripture  on  this  question  without  pre- 
suming to  dogmatize  upon  it  ourselves. 

One  who  has  not  committed  himself  on  this  sub- 
ject, as  it  was  the  fortune  of  the  writer  to  do  a 
year  ago  in  a  little  tract  called  "the  Ministry  of 
Healing"  has  several  things  to  learn.  First  that 
there  is  a  sensitiveness  amounting  often  to  extreme 
irratibility  towards  any  who  venture  to  disturb  the 


traditional  view  of  this  question.  Credulity  is  sure 
to  get  more  censure  than  honest  doubt ;  and  while 
one  may  with  impunity  fall  behind  the  accepted 
standard  of  faith  concerning  the  supernatural,  pro- 
vided he  does  it  in  a  regretfully  necessitous  spirit, 
it  is  hardly  safe  for  one  to  go  beyond  that  stand- 
ard. Thus  a  little  experience  has  made  us  aware 
of  the  peril  to  which  we  have  exposed  ourselves  of 
being  sorely  shot  at  by  the  theological  archers. 
But  being  defamed  we  still  entreat  our  critics  to 
deal  kindly  and  candidly  with  us  since  we  desire 
naught  but  the  furtherance  of  the  truth. 

But  in  another  way  one  has  a  real  advantage 
who  has  published  his  views  on  such  a  question. 
His  communication  puts  him  en  rapport  with  those 
like-minded,  and  opens  to  him  sources  of  informa- 
tion which  he  could  not  otherwise  have  had.  It 
has  been  an  occasion  of  no  little  surprise  to  us  to 
learn  how  widely  the  minds  of  Christians  of  all 
names  and  countries  are  exercised  upon  this  subject. 
Information  to  this  effect  has  come  to  us  not  only 
in  the  constant  testimonies  from  humble  Christians 
who  bear  witness  to  what  God  has  wrought  in  their 
own  bodies ;  but  also  from  pastors  and  evangelists 
and  bible  readers  and  foreign  missionaries  and  in 


one  instance  from  a  theological  professor  expressing 
their  strong  assent  to  the  view  which  is  herein  set 
forth.  We  are  well  aware  indeed  that  it  is  not  a 
question  of  human  opinion,  but  of  scriptural  testi- 
mony. On  the  word  of  God  therefore  we  wish  oul 
argument  to  lean  its  heaviest  weight.  The  wit* 
nesses  which  we  have  brought  forward  from  the 
Church  of  all  the  ages,  have  been  summoned  only 
that  they  may  corroborate  this  word.  May  the 
Lord  graciously  use  whatever  of  truth  there  may 
be  in  this  volume  for  the  comfort  and  blessing  of 
his  children ;  may  he  mercifully  pardon  whatever 
of  error  or  forwardness  of  opinion  it  may  contain. 
And  if  by  his  blessing  and  furtherance  our  word* 
should  bring  a  ray  of  hope  to  any  who  are  sick,  let 
not  those  who  are  "  whole  "  and  who  "  need  not  a 
physician,"  unreasonably  grudge  their  suffering 
and  afflicted  brethren  this  boon  of  comfort 



In  the  atonement  of  Christ  there  seems  to  be  a 
foundation  laid  for  faith  in  bodily  healing.  Seems 
—  we  say,  for  the  passage  to  which  we  refer  is  so 
profound  and  unsearchable  in  its  meaning  that  one 
would  be  very  careful  not  to  speak  dogmatically  in 
regard  to  it.  But  it  is  at  least  a  deep  and  sugges- 
tive truth  that  we  have  Christ  set  before  us  as  the 
sickness-bearer  as  well  as  the  sin-bearer  of  his  peo- 
ple. In  the  gospel  it  is  written,  "  And  he  cast  out 
devils  and  healed  all  that  were  sick,  that  it  might 
be  fulfilled  which  was  spoken  by  Esaias  the  prophet 
saying,  Himself  took  our  infirmities  and  bare  our 
sicknesses."*  Something  more  than  sympathetic 
fellowship  with  our  sufferings  is  evidently  referred 
to  here.  The  yoke  of  his  cross  by  which  he  lifted 
our  iniquities  took  hold  also  of  our  diseases ;  so 
that  it  is  in  some  sense  true  that  as  God  "  made 

•Matt.  8 1  if. 


him  to  be  sin  for  us  who  knew  no  sin,"  so  he  made 
him  to  be  sick  for  us  who  knew  no  sickness.  He 
who  entered  into  mysterious  sympathy  with  our 
pain  which  is  the  fruit  of  sin,  also  put  himself  un- 
derneath our  pain  which  is  the  penalty  of  sin.  In 
other  words  the  passage  seems  to  teach  that  Christ 
endured  vicariously  our  diseases  as  well  as  our 

If  now  it  be  true  that  our  Redeemer  and  substi- 
tute bore  our  sicknesses,  it  would  be  natural  to 
reason  at  once  that  he  bore  them  that  we  might 
not  bear  them.  And  this  inference  is  especially 
strengthened  from  the  fact,  that  when  the  Lord 
Jesus  removed  the  burden  of  disease  from  "all 
that  were  sick,"  we  are  told  that  it  was  done  "that 

*Dr.  Hovey  commenting  on  this  passage  says:  "The  words  quoted  by  the 
evaugelist  are  descriptive  in  the  original  passage  of  vicarious  suffering.  It  is 
next  to  impossible  to  understand  them  otherwise.  Hence  in  the  miraculous  healing 
of  disease,  a  fruit  if  not  a  penalty  of  sin,  Jesus  appears  to  have  had  a  full  sense  of 
the  evil  and  pain  which  he  removed.  His  anguish  in  the  garden  and  on  the  cross 
was  but  the  culmination  of  that  which  he  felt  almost  daily  while  healiug  the  sick, 
cleansing  the  leprous  or  forgiving  the  penitent.  By  the  holy  sharpness  of  his  vis- 
ion he  pierced  quite  through  the  veil  of  sense  and  natural  cause,  and  saw  the 
■moral  evil,  the  black  root  of  all  disorder,  the  source  of  all  bodily  suffering.  He 
could  therefore  Ileal  neitlier  bodily  nor  spiritual  disease  without  a  deep  con- 
sciousness  of  his  special  relation  to  tnan  as  the  substitute,  the  Redeemer,  tlie 
Lamb  of  God  who  was  to  bear  the  penalty  ef the  world' }s  guilt."  The  Miracles 
of  Christ,  p.  1 20. 


the  scripture  might  be  fulfilled,  Himself  took  our 
infirmities  and  bare  our  sicknesses."  Let  us  re- 
member what  our  theology  is  in  regard  to  atone- 
ment for  sin.  "Christ  bore  your  sins,  that  you 
might  be  delivered  from  them,"  we  say  to  the  pen- 
itent. Not  sympathy  —  a  suffering  with,  but  sub- 
stitution—  a  suffering  for,  is  our  doctrine  of  the 
Cross  ;  and  therefore  we  urge  the  transgressor  to 
accept  the  Lord  Jesus  as  his  sin-bearer,  that  he 
may  himself  no  longer  have  to  bear  the  pains  and 
penalties  of  his  disobedience.  But  should  we 
shrink  utterly  from  reasoning  thus  concerning 
Christ  as  our  pain-bearer?  We  do  so  argue  to 
some  extent  at  least..  For  we  hold  that  in  its 
ultimate  consequences  the  atonement  affects  the 
body  as  well  as  the  soul  of  man.  Sanctification 
is  the  consummation  of  Christ's  redemptive  work 
for  the  soul ;  and  resurrection  is  the  consumma- 
tion of  his  redemptive  work  for  the  body.  And 
these  meet  and  are  fulfilled  at  the  coming  and 
kingdom  of  Christ. 

But  there  is  a  vast  intermediate  work  of  cleans- 
ing and  renewal  effected  for  the  soul.  Is  there 
none  of  healing  and  recovery  for  the  body  ?  Here, 
to  make  it  plain,  is  the  Cross  of  Christ ;  yonder  is 


the  Coming  of  Christ.  These  are  the  two  piers  of 
redemption,  spanned  by  the  entire  dispensation  of 
the  Spirit  and  by  all  the  ordinances  and  offices  of 
the  gospel  At  the  cross  we  read  this  two-fold 
declaration  :  — 

"  Who  his  own  self  bare  our  sins." 
"  Himself  bare  our  sicknesses." 
At  the  coming  we  find  this  two-fold  work  prom- 
ised :  — 

"  The  sanctification  of  the  Spirit." 
"The  redemption  of  the  body." 
The  work  of  sanctification  for  the  spirit  stretches 
on  from  the  cross  to  the  crown,  progressive  and 
increasing  till  it  is  completed.  Does  the  work  of 
the  body's  redemption  touch  only  at  these  two 
remote  points  ?  Has  the  gospel  no  office  of  heal- 
ing and  blessing  to  proclaim  meantime  for  the 
physical  part  of  man's  nature  ?  In  answering  this 
question  we  only  make  the  following  suggestions, 
which  point  significantly  in  one  direction. 

Christ's  ministry  was  a  two-fold  ministry,  effect- 
ing constantly  the  souls  and  the  bodies  of  men. 
"  Thy  sins  are  forgiven  thee,"  and  "  Be  whole  of 
thy  plague,"  are  parallel  announcements  of  the 
Saviour's  work  which  are  found  constantly  running 
on  side  by  side. 


The  ministry  of  the  apostles,  under  the  guidance 
of  the  Comforter,  is  the  exact  fac-simile  of  the 
Master's.  Preaching  the  kingdom  and  healing  the 
sick ;  redemption  for  the  soul  and  deliverance  for 
the  body  —  these  are  its  great  offices  and  an- 
nouncements. Certain  great  promises  of  the  gos- 
pel have  this  double  reference  to  pardon  and  cure. 
The  commission  for  the  world's  evangelization  bids 
its  messengers  stretch  out  their  hands  to  the  sin- 
ner with  the  message,  "  He  that  believeth  shall  be 
saved,"  and  to  "  lay  hands  on  the  sick  and  they 
shall  recover."  The  promise  by  James,  concern- 
ing the  prayer  of  faith,  is  that  it  "  shall  save  the 
sick,  and  if  he  have  committed  sins  they  shall  be 
forgiven  him."  Thus  this  two-fold  ministry  of  re- 
mission of  sins  and  remission  of  sickness  extends 
through  the  days  of  Christ  and  that  of  the  apos- 

We  only  suggest  these  facts,  leaving  the  exam- 
ple and  acts  and  promises  of  the  Lord  and  his  apos- 
tles to  stretch  out  their  silent  index  in  the  direction 
which  our  argument  will  obediently  pursue  through- 
out this  discussion. 

Only  one  other  fact  need  be  alluded  to — the 
subtle,  mysterious,  and  clearly  recognized  rtiwliop 


of  sin  and  disease.  The  ghastly  flag  of  leprosy, 
flung  out  in  the  face  of  Miriam,  told  instantly  that 
the  pirate  sin  had  captured  her  heart.  Not  less 
truly  did  the  crimson  glow  of  health  announce  her 
forgiveness  when  afterwards  the  Lord  had  par- 
doned her  and  restored  her  to  his  fellowship.  And 
it  is  obvious  at  once  that  our  Redeemer  cannot 
forgive  and  eradicate  sin  without  in  the  same  act 
disentangling  the  roots  which  that  sin  has  struck 
into  our  mortal  bodies. 

He  is  the  second  Adam  come  to  repair  the  ruin 
of  the  first  And  in  order  to  accomplish  this  he 
will  follow  the  lines  of  man's  transgression  back  to 
their  origin,  and  forward  to  their  remotest  issue. 
He  will  pursue  the  serpent  trail  of  sin,  dispensing 
his  forgiveness  and  compassion  as  he  goes,  till  at 
last  he  finds  the  wages  of  sin,  and  dies  its  death 
on  the  cross ;  and  he  will  follow  the  wretched 
track  of  disease  with  his  healing  and  recovery, 
till  in  his  resurrection  he  shall  exhibit  to  the 
world  the  first  fruits  of  these  redeemed  bodies,  in 
which  "  this  corruptible  shall  have  put  on  incor- 
ruption,  and  this  mortal  shall  have  put  on  immor- 

From  this  mysterious  and  solemn  doctrine  of  the 


gospel,  let  us  turn  now  to  some  of  its  clear  and 
explicit  promises. 

We  will  take  first  the  words  of  the  gospel  ac- 
cording to  Mark  :  "  These  signs  sJtall  follow  them 
that  believe :  in  my  name  shall  they  cast  out  devils  ; 
they  shall  speak  with  other  tongues ;  they  shall  take 
up  serpents ;  and  if  they  drink  any  deadly  thing  it 
shall  not  hurt  them, ;  they  shall  lay  their  hands  on 
the  sick  and  they  shall  recover."  * 

It  is  important  to  observe  that  this  rich  cluster 
of  miraculous  promises  all  hangs  by  a  single  stem, 
faith.  And  this  is  not  some  exclusive,  or  esoteric 
faith.  The  same  believing  to  which  is  attached 
the  promise  of  salvation,  has  joined  to  it  also  the 
promise  of  miraculous  working.  Nor  is  there  any 
ground  for  limiting  this  promise  to  apostolic  times 
and  apostolic  men,  as  has  been  so  violently  at- 
tempted. The  links  of  the  covenant  are  very 
securely  forged,  "He  that  believeth  and  is  baptized 
shall  be  saved,"  in  any  and  every  age  of  the  Chris- 
tian dispensation.  So  with  one  consent  the  church 
has  interpreted  the  words,  "  And  these  signs  shall 
follow  them  that  believe"  in  every  generation  and 


period  of  the  church's  history; — so  the  language 
compels  us  to  conclude. 

And  let  us  not  unbraid  this  two-fold  cord  of 
promise,  holding  fast  to  the  first  strand  because 
we  know  how  to  use  it,  and  flinging  the  other  back 
to  the  apostles  because  we  know  not  how  to  use  it. 
When  our  Lord  gives  command  to  the  twelve,  as  he 
sends  them  forth,  "  to  heal  all  manner  of  sickness 
and  all  manner  of  diseases,"  we  might  conclude 
that  this  was  an  apostolic  commission,  and  one 
which  we  could  not  be  warranted  in  applying  to 
ourselves.  But  here  the  promise  is  not  only  to  the 
apostles,  but  to  those  who  should  believe  on  Christ 
through  the  word  of  these  apostles ;  or  as  Bullingef 
the  Reformer  very  neatly  puts  it  in  his  comment 
on  the  passage,  to  "  both  the  Lord's  disciples  and  thf 
disciples  of  the  Lords  disciples"  * 

Whatever  practical  difficulties  we  may  have  in 
regard  to  the  fulfilment  of  this  word,  these  ought 
not  to  lead  us  to  limit  it  where  the  Lord  has  not 

*  "  Et  discipuli  Domini,  et  discipulorum  Domini  discipuli."  And  to  show  his 
belief  in  the  fulfilment  of  the  promise,  Bullinger  adds,  "  To  this  the  Acts  of  the 
Apostles  bear  witness.  Ecclesiastical  history  bears  witness  to  the  same.  Lastly, 
the  present  times  bear  witness;  wherein  through  confidence  in  the  name  oj 
Crnrisi  numbers  greatly  afflicted  and  shattered  with  disease  are  restored  afresh 


limited  it  For  if  reason  or  tradition  throws  om 
half  of  this  illustrious  promise  into  eclipse,  tho 
danger  is  that  the  other  half  may  become  involved. 
Indeed  we  shall  not  soon  forget  the  cogency  with 
which  we  heard  a  skilful  skeptic  use  this  text 
against  one  who  held  the  common  opinion  concern- 
ing it  Urged  to  "believe  on  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,"  that  he  might  be  saved,  he  answered : 
"  How  can  I  be  sure  that  this  part  of  the  promise 
will  be  kept  with  me,  when,  as  you  admit,  the  other 
part  is  not  kept  with  the  church  of  to-day  ? "  And 
certainly,  standing  on  the  traditional  ground,  one 
must  be  dumb  before  such  reasoning.  The  only 
safe  position  is  to  assert  emphatically  the  perpetu- 
ity of  the  promise,  and  with  the  same  emphasis  to 
admit  the  general  weakness  and  failure  of  the 
church's  faith  in  appropriating  it.*  For  who  does 
not  see  that  a  confession  of  human  inability  is  a 
far  safer  and  more  rational  refuge  for  the  Christian 
than  an  implication  of  the  divine  changeableness 
and  limitation.  There  is  a  phrase  of  the  apostle 
Paul  which  has  always  struck  us  as  containing 
marvellous   keenness    and   wisdom   if    not   covert 

•"The  reason  why  mtrnrnj  miracha  »r«  not  now  wrong  hi  k  not  ao  much  becauat 
fafck  i  i  — Hbhhcd.  m  th»  wmitli^f  rtigns."- JfcappC 


irony  — "  What  the  law  could  not  do  in  that  it 
was  weak  through  the  flesh."  The  law  must  not 
be  impugned  by  even  a  suspicion ;  "  the  law  of  the 
Lord  is  perfect."  But  there  has  been  utter  failure 
under  its  working  —  the  perfection  which  it  re- 
quires has  not  appeared.  Rashly  and  dangerously, 
it  would  seem,  the  apostle  has  arraigned  the  law, 
telling  us  what  it  "  could  not  do "  and  wherein  it 
was  "  weak  "  —  and  then,  having  brought  us  to  the 
perilous  edge  of  disloyalty,  he  suddenly  turns  and 
puts  the  whole  fault  on  us  where  it  belongs  — 
"  What  the  law  could  not  do  in  that  it  was  weak 
through  the  flesh"  The  one  weak  spot  in  the  law 
is  human  nature ;  there  is  where  the  break  is  sure 
to  come ;  there  is  where  the  fault  is  sure  to  lie. 
In  like  manner  this  great  promise,  with  which 
Christ's  commission  is  enriched  and  authenticated, 
has  failed  only  through  our  unbelief.  It  is  weak 
through  the  weakness  of  our  faith,  and  inoperative 
through  lack  of  our  co-operating  obedience.*  We 
believe  therefore  that  whatever  difficulties  there 
may  be  in  us,  there  is  but  one  attitude  for  us  to 

•"It  is  the  want  of  faith  in  our  age  which  is  the  greatest  hindrance  to  the 
stronger  and  more  marked  appearance  of  that  miraculous  power  which  is  working 
iiere  and  there  in  quiet  concealment.  Unbelief  is  the  final  and  most  important 
reason  fin-  the  retrogression  of  miracles"  —  CkristlUVs  Modern  Doubt,  /.  3j4 


take  as  expounders  of  the  scripture,  that  of  unqual- 
ified assent. 

The  treatment  which  the  Commentator  Stier 
gives  to  this  passage  is  truly  refreshing.  It  is  a 
brawny  Saxon  exegesis  laying  hold  of  a  text,  to 
cling  to  it,  not  to  cull  from  it ;  to  crown  it  with  an 
amen  !  not  to  condition  it  with  a  date.  For  he  puts 
the  two  sayings  side  by  side  and  bids  us  look  at 
them ;  moteieae  "  He  that  believeth  ;  shall  be  saved:" 
mateiiagt  "Them  that  believe;  these  signs  shall 
follow."  And  then  he  gives  us  these  strong  words. 
"  Both  the  one  and  the  other  apply  to  ourselves 
down  to  the  present  day  and  indeed  for  all  future 
time.  Every  one  applies  the  first  part  of  the 
saying  to  ourselves :  teaching  everywhere  that  faith 
and  baptism  are  necessary  in  all  ages  to  salvation, 
and  that  unbelief  in  all  ages  excludes  from  it. 
But  what  right  has  any  to  separate  the  words  that 
Jesus  immediately  added  from  his  former  words  ? 
Where  is  it  said  that  these  former  words  have  refe- 
rence to  all  men  and  all  Christians,  but  that  the 
promised  signs  which  should  follow  those  who  be- 
lieve referred  solely  to  the  Christians  of  the  first 
age  ?  What  God  hath  joined  together,  let  not  man 
put  asunder." 


It  should  be  observed  however,  that  while  the  same 
word  is  employed  in  both  clauses  of  this  text,  there 
is  a  change  in  number  from  the  singular  to  the 
plural  form.  "He  that  believeth  and  is  baptized 
shall  be  saved."  The  promise  of  eternal  life  is  to 
personal  faith,  and  to  every  individual  on  the  ground 
of  his  faith.  "  Them  that  believe,  these  signs  shall 
follow."  The  promise  of  miracles  is  to  the  faithful 
as  a  body.  The  church  has  come  into  existence  so 
soon  as  any  have  believed  and  been  baptized ;  and 
thus  this  guarantee  of  miraculous  signs  seems  to 
be  to  the  church  in  its  corporate  capacity.  "Are  all 
workers  of  miracles?  have  all  the  gifts  of  healing? 
do  all  speak  with  tongues?"  asks  the  apostle. 
Nay,  but  some  employ  these  offices,  so  that  the 
gifts  are  found  in  the  church  as  a  whole.  For  the 
church  is  "  the  body  of  Christ,"  and  to  vindicate 
its  oneness  with  the  Head  it  shall  do  the  things 
which  he  did,  as  well  as  speak  the  words  which  he 
spake.  How  significant  the  place  where  this 
promise  is  found !  It  was  given  just  as  the  Lord 
was  to  be  received  up  into  heaven  to  become 
"  Head  over  all  things  to  his  church."  It  is  Eli- 
jah's mantle  let  fall  upon  Elisha ;  so  that  having 
this,  the  disciple  can  repeat  the  miracles  of  the 


Master.  Oh  timid  church,  praying  for  a  "  double 
portion  of  the  Spirit "  of  the  ascending  prophet, 
and  having  his  promise  "greater  works  than  these 
shall  ye  do,  because  I  go  to  my  Father,"  and  yet 
afraid  to  claim  even  a  fragment  of  his  miracle  work- 
ing power!  We  conclude  therefore  that  this 
text  teaches  that  the  miraculous  gifts  were  be- 
stowed to  abide  in  the  church  to  the  end,  though 
not  that  every  believer  should  be  endowed  with 

This  promise  given  in  Mark  emerges  in  perform- 
ance in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles.  But  it  is  sig- 
nificant and  to  be  carefully  observed,  that  the  mi- 
raculous gifts  are  not  found  exclusively  in  the 
hands  of  the  Apostles.  Stephen  and  Philip  and 
Barnabas,  exercised  them.  These  did  not  belong 
to  the  twelve,  to  that  special  and  separated  body 
of  disciples  with  whom  it  has  been  said,  that  the 
gifts  were  intended  to  remain.  It  was  not  Stephen 
an  apostle,  but  "  Stephen  a  man  full  of  faith  and 
of  the  Holy  Ghost—"  "  Stephen  full  of  faith  and 
power*  that  "did  great  wonders  and  miracles 
among  the  people."*  We  in  these  days  cannot  be 
apostles :  but  we  are  commanded  to  be  "  filled  with 

••  Kingiii :   9,  15.  *  Acts  vi:  5,8. 


the  Spirit,"  and  therefore  are  at  least  required  and 
enjoined  to  have  Stephen's  qualifications.  Ac- 
cording to  the  teaching  in  Corinthians  it  is  as  mem- 
bers of  Christ's  body  and  partakers  of  his  Spirit, 
that  we  receive  these  truths.* 

We  come  now  to  consider  the  promise  in  James 
v :  14,  15.  "Is  any  sick  among  you  ?  Let  him  call 
for  the  elders  of  the  Church;  and  let  them  pray  over 
him  anointing  him  with  oil  in  the  name  of  the  Lord. 
And  the  prayer  of  faith  shall  save  the  sick,  and  the 
Lord  shall  raise  him  up  :  and  if  he  have  committed 
sins  they  shall  be  forgiven  him." 

Now  let  us  note  the  presumption  there  is  that 
this  passage  refers  to  an  established  and  perpetual 
usage  in  the  Church. 

That  command  in  the  great  commission  — "  Bap- 
tizing them  in  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the 
Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost,"  appears  in  the  Acts 
of  the  apostles  in  constant  exercise;  and  in  the 

*"  You  say  that  Christ  "Jesus  and  his  Apostles  and  Messengers  were  endued 
with  power  from  on  high  not  only  to  preach  the  word  for  conversion  but  also  with 
power  of  casting  out  Devils  and  healing  bodily  diseases.  I  answer,  as  an  holy 
witness  of  Christ  Jesus  once  answered  a  Bishop.  '  /  am  a  member  of  Christ 
Jesus  as  well  as  Peter  himself.'  The  least  Believer  and  Follower  of  Jesus 
partakes  of  the  nature  and  spirit  of  him  their  holy  head  and  husband  as  wejl 
as  the  strongest  and  holiest  that  ever  died  or  suffered  for  his  holy  name." 

Roger  Williams'  Experiments  of  Spiritual  Life  and  Health,  1652. 


letters  of  the  Apostles  as  explained  unfolded  and 

The  injunction  given  at  the  institution  of  the 
supper  "  This  do  in  remembrance  of  me"  appears 
in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  in  constant  exercise  ; 
and  in  the  letters  of  the  apostles  as  explained  and 
unfolded,  and  enforced.! 

The  promise  given  also  in  the  great  commission, 
"  They  sJiall  lay  their  hands  on  the  sick  and  they 
shall  recover,"  appears  in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles 
in  constant  exercise,  and  in  the  letters  of  the 
apostles  as  explained,  unfolded  and  enforced.  J  Thus 
this  office  like  the  great  ordinances  of  Christianity 
rests  on  the  three-fold  support  of  promise  and  prac- 
tice and  precept.  And  we  cannot  too  strongly  em- 
phasize this  fact  that  what  was  given  by  our  Lord 
in  promise  before  his  ascension  should  appear  as  an 
established  usage  in  the  church  after  his  ascension. 
For  we  all  insist  that  the  church  of  the  apostles 
was  the  model  for  all  time.  When  we  are  called 
"followers  of  the  Lord"  we  might  rightly  protest 
that  though  his  followers,  we  surely  could  not  be 
expected  to  walk  in  his  steps  as  he  enters  the  field 

•Rom.  ri:  3,4.    Col.  It  i*.     i  Pet  iii:  at.        t  Arts  ii.  46:  1  Cor.  z:  il 
jiCor.  xii:  j>     Janes  r :  14,  if. 


of  the  miraculous.  When  we  hear  Paul  saying 
"  Be  ye  followers  of  me,  as  I  am  of  Christ "  we 
might  well  insist  that  we  could  not  imitate  him  in 
working  wonders  since  he  is  an  apostle  and  we  only 
humble  disciples.  But  when  we  read  "  For  ye 
brethren  became  followers  of  the  Churches  of  God 
which  in  Judea  are  in  Christ  "we  say  "Yes!  in 
every  point  and  punctilio.  For  these  are  the  pat- 
tern for  all  churches  in  all  time."  So  we  all  hold 
and  teach.  We  believe  that  there  is  nothing  in  all 
the  ordering  and  furniture  of  the  church  which 
was  present  in  the  beginning  which  should  be  ab- 
sent now.  And  if  we  rejoice  in  having  the  laver 
and  the  bread  of  the  ordinances,  the  ministry  of 
the  word  and  prayer ;  not  the  less  should  we  willing- 
ly be  without  the  primitive  miraculous  gifts  which 
were  like  the  Shechinah  glory,  the  outward  visible 
signs  of  God's  presence  among  his  people. 

To  return  now  to  the  text  which  we  are  consid- 
ering. Here  is  the  calling  for  the  elders  of  the 
church  —  a  voluntary  appeal  to  the  ministry  and 
intercessions  of  the  servants  of  God.  Oil  is  applied 
as  a  symbol  of  the  communication  of  the  Spirit,  by 
whose  power  healing  is  effected.  It  does  not  seem 
reasonable  to  suppose,  that  it  is  used  for  its  medic- 


inal  properties.  Because  observe,  it  is  the  elders 
of  the  church,  not  the  doctors  of  physic,  who  are 
called  to  apply  it ;  and  it  is  accompanied  by  prayer, 
not  by  manipulations  and  medications.  As  in 
Baptism  the  disciple  confesses  his  faith  in  the 
cleansing  power  of  Christ's  atonement,  by  the  use 
of  water  ;  or,  as  in  the  Communion  he  declares  his 
dependence  on  Christ  for  spiritual  sustenance,  by 
the  use  of  bread ;  so  here  he  avows  his  faith  in  the 
saving  health  of  the  Spirit  by  the  use  of  oil*  In 
other  words,  this  whole  ceremony  is  a  kind  of  sac- 
ramental profession  of  faith  in  Jesus  Christ  as  the 
Divine  Physician  acting  through  the  Holy  Ghost. 
Such  public  profession  of  faith  in  Christ  as  the 
Healer  the  Lord  seems  rigidly  to  require,  just  as 
he  demands  baptism  as  a  confession  of  faith  in  him 
as  the  Redeemer.  Neither  in  the  forgiveness  of 
sin  nor  in  the  remission  of  sickness  will  he  permit 
a  clandestine  blessing.  There  are  many  who  would 
gladly  secure  his  healing  virtue  by  stealth,  laying 
hold  of  it  secretly,  but  avoiding  the  publicity  and 
possible  reproach  of  having  applied  to  such  a  phy- 

*  Lange  commenting  on  Mark  vi :  13 :  "  And  they  anointed  toitk  oil  many  that 
vterr  sick  and  healed  them"  say*  that  oil  here  is  "  simply  a  symbolic  medium  of 
the  miraculous  work ;  "  and  that  "  the  anointing  was  a  symbol  of  the  bestowment 
vi  ibe  Spirit  as  a  preliminary  condition  of  healing." 


sician.  But  this  cannot  be.  The  Lord  will  have 
an  open  acknowledgment  of  our  faith.  It  will  be 
remembered  that  from  the  woman  whom  he  healed 
of  an  issue  of  blood,  he  drew  forth  a  public  confes- 
sion before  he  pronounced  that  full  and  authorita- 
tive absolution  from  sickness,*  "go  in  peace  and 
be  whole  of  thy  plague." 

The  promise  of  recovery  is  explicit  and  uncon- 
ditional—  "  And  the  prayer  of  faith  shall  save  the 
sick  and  the  Lord  shall  raise  him  up  ;  and  if  he 
have  committed  sins  they  shall  be  forgiven  him." 
Doubtless  the  words  "prayer  of  faith  "  should  be 
strongly  emphasized.  It  is  the  intercession  accom- 
panied by  the  special  miraculous  faith  alluded  to  in 
the  scriptures  as  "the  gift  of  faith,"  and  "the  gift 
of  healing" — a  faith  which  we  believe  to  be  not 
wanting  in  this  age,  though  comparatively  so  rare. 
And  the  words  which  Bengel  italicizes  in  his  Com- 
mentary ought  to  be  strongly  marked  —  "  Let  them 

*  "Threfore  when  she  held  her  peace  trustyng  that  she  might  still  be  undescryed, 
lie  looked  round  about  upon  the  people.  This  looking  about  was  a  gesture  of  him 
that  courteously  required  a  confession  of  tlie  benefit  receyved.  He  would  not 
utter  her  by  name,  lest  he  should  have  seemed  to  hit  her  in  the  teeth  with  the  good 
turn  he  dyd  her.  It  was  a  pricke  or  provocation  given  to  make  her  to  put  away 
that  unprofitable  shamefastenes s  and  to  •wryng  out  of  her  a  holesome  confession.' 
«-  Thomas  Key. 


use  oil  who  are  able  by  their  prayers  to  obtain  recov- 

ery  for  the  sick ;  let  those  who  cannot  do  this  ah' 
stain  from  the  empty  sign"  If  the  peculiar  mirac- 
ulous faith  of  which  we  speak  had  utterly  disap- 
peared from  the  church,  then  it  would  certainly  be 
best  that  the  usage  of  anointing  should  be  wanting 
also,  rather  than  continue  as  a  hollow  sign,  or  as  in 
the  extreme  unction  of  the  church  of  Rome,  a 
standing  sacramental  confession  of  inability  to  ren- 
der any  help  to  the  diseased. 

But  we  are  persuaded  better  things  than  this. 
We  believe  that  there  are  those  in  our  own  time 
who  have  humbly  sought,  and  manifestly  obtained 
this  gift  of  prevailing  faith.  If  the  larger  ma- 
jority of  Christians,  either  through  wrong  teaching 
or  indifference  have  willingly  consented  to  surren- 
der this  primitive  birth-right  of  the  church,  and 
have  learned  to  say  without  emotion  to  the  sick, 
that  lie  at  their  doors  "  thy  bruise  is  incurable,  and 
thy  wound  is  grevious,  there  is  none  to  plead 
thy  cause  that  thou  mayest  be  bound  up ; "  there 
are  some  who  are  more  jealous  for  the  Lord's 
honor  in  this  matter.  Because  they  believe  that 
the  miraculous  gifts  are  for  all  ages,  they  have 
thought  it  not  covetous  to  seek  them  for  them- 


selves  —  and  yet  not  for  themselves,  but  that 
through  them  the  Lord  might  still  show  forth  his 
glory.  And  why  should  it  be  thought  a  thing  in- 
credible that  they  may  have  obtained  what  they 
sought  ?  In  the  old  dispensation  were  miracles  of 
healing  shut  up  within  some  narrow  and  special 
age  ?  Run  through  the  list  and  see  :  —  Abraham 
healing  Abimelech  and  his  household  by  his  pray- 
ers to  God ;  Moses  crying  unto  God  for  Miriam, 
"  Heal  her  now,  O  God  I  beseech  thee,"  and  the 
Lord,  answering  with  the  promise  that  after  seven 
days  her  leprosy  should  depart ;  God's  cure  of  the 
bitten  Israelites  in  answer  to  Moses'  prayer,  and 
through  a  look  of  faith  at  the  brazen  serpent ; 
Naaman  the  Syrian  recovered  of  his  leprosy  by 
the  faith  of  Elisha ;  Hezekiah  raised  up  from  his 
death  bed  in  answer  to  prayer  and  his  life  length- 
ened out  fifteen  years,  and  other  instances  which 
we  have  not  space  to  refer  to.  These  miracles  of 
healing  were  not  confined  to  the  opening  of  a  dis- 
pensation, but  belonged  to  its  entire  history.  In- 
deed intercession  for  healing  was  a  part  of  the 
very  ritual  of  Jewish  worship  and  its  answer  a 
part  of  God's  explicit  covenant  with  his  people. 
Hear  Solomon's  prayer  at  the  dedication  of   the 


Temple.  "  W/iatsoever  sore,  or  whatsoever  sickness 
there  be:  then  what  prayer,  or  what  supplication 
soever  shall  be  made  of  any  man,  or  of  all  thy 
people  Israel,  then  hear  Thou  from  heaven  Thy 
dwelling-place,  and  forgive."*  And  hear  God's 
promise  in  reference  to  this  same  matter.  "  I  have 
heard  thy  prayer  and  thy  supplication  that  thou 
hast  made  before  me :  I  have  hallowed  this  house 
to  put  my  name  there  forever."!  "  If  I  shut  up 
heaven,  or  if  I  send  pestilence  among  my  people  ; 
if  my  people  humble  themselves,  and  pray,  and  seek 
my  face,  and  turn  from  their  wicked  ways ;  then 
will  I  hear  from  heaven,  and  will  forgive  their  sin, 
and  will  heal  their  land."%  Here  is  a  broad  promise 
conditioned  indeed  by  the  repentance  and  faith  of 
the  people  of  Israel,  but  fenced  by  no  statute  of  limi- 
tations, shutting  up  God's  mercies  within  a  certain 
miraculous  era.  And  we  know  from  the  history  of 
prophets  and  saints  how  constantly  this  promise 
opened  to  the  key  of  faith  and  poured  forth  its 
treasures.  This  under  the  old  covenant !  How 
much  greater  things  might  we  expect  under  the 
new,  after  that  the  Lord  had  ascended  up  on  high 
and  given  gifts  to  men  —  the  Comforter  the  great 

•  a  Chron.|vi :  38-30. 
t  f  Kings  fall  j.  la  Chron.  vii :  1  j,  14. 


est  and  supreme  gift  to  abide  perpetually  in  the 
church ;  and  with  him  and  through  him,  "  miracles, 
gifts  of  healings,  helps,  governments,  diversities 
of  tongues." 

It  is  comparatively  easy  indeed  to  credit  miracles 
in  these  olden  times  of  patriarchs  and  prophets, 
because  of  the  enchantment  of  distance  and  the 
halo  of  superior  sanctity  through  which  the  men 
of  these  times  are  seen.  But  antiquity  has  no 
monopoly  of  God's  gifts,  and  ancient  men  as  such 
had  no  entr&e  into  God's  treasure  house  which  is 
denied  to  us.  How  very  significantly  James  en. 
forces  the  doctrine,  "the  effectual  fervent  prayer  of 
a  righteous  man  availeth  much."  After  the  exhorta- 
tion, "  pray  one  for  another  that  ye  maybe  healed" — 
as  though  reading  the  thoughts  which  might  come 
into  our  minds,  of  the  superior  faith  of  prophets 
and  the  higher  privilege  of  apostles  the  Spirit  adds, 
"  Elias  was  a  man  subject  to  like  passions  as  we 
are — "  Not  some  privileged  courtier  of  the  King  of 
kings,  not  some  high  and  titled  chancellor  of  the 
exchequer  of  heaven  having  rights  of  access  and 
intercourse  with  God  of  which  we  know  nothing 
—  "and  he  prayed  earnestly  that  it  might  not  rain : 
and  it  rained  not  on  the  earth  for  the  space  of 


three  years  and  six  months,  and  he  prayed  again 
and  the  heavens  gave  rain  and  the  earth  brought 
forth  her  fruit."  If  he  could  shut  and  open  heav- 
en, not  the  less  can  you  the  children  of  to-day, 
since  he  is  a  brother  and  kinsman  in  the  same 
bonds  of  frailty,  and  fear,  and  also  a  son  and  disci- 
ple of  "the  same  Lord  over  all  who  is  rich  unto  all 
that  call  upon  him." 

Such  is  the  Spirit's  practical  enforcement  of  this 
great  promise  of  healing.  How  much  we  need  to 
ponder  it !  How  much  we  need  to  re-learn  the  truth, 
that,  though  Christ  who  heard  the  cry  of  the  suf- 
fering and  touched  them  with  healing,  has  gone 
far  off  "above  all  heavens,"  and  ages  have  been  add- 
ed to  his  eternal  years  "  whose  goings  forth  have 
been  of  old  from  everlasting,"  still  "his  hand  is 
not  shortened  that  it  cannot  save ;  neither  is  his 
ear  heavy  that  it  cannot  hear." 



"  Nowise  contrary  to  scripture  and  very  agreea 
ble  to  reason  ; "  is  the  opinion  with  which  Arch- 
bishop Tillotson  closes  his  observations  on  the 
recurrence  of  Christian  miracles  in  modern  times. 

It  may  be  asked,  what  reason  has  to  do  with 
such  a  question.  Nothing  except  as  corroborating 
the  testimony  of  faith.  Miracles  have  not  been 
generally  defended  on  the  ground  of  their  intrin- 
sic reasonableness,  but  on  that  of  their  scriptu- 
ral authority ;  and  that  in  us  which  first  assents  to 
their  reality  is  not  so  much  the  logical  mind  as  the 
docile  heart  —  "  the  heart  proffering  itself  by  hu- 
miliation to  inspiration  "  as  Pascal  expresses  it.  And 
yet  we  hold  that  to  believe  in  miracles  is  reasona- 
ble, after  it  is  faithful.  That  supreme  miracle,  the 
resurrection  of  our  Lord  was  first  credited  and 
published  by  loving  and  devoted  believers  ;  but  it 
has  since  been  defended  again  and  again  by  Chris- 
tian philosophers.  So  then,  reason  is  not  forbid- 
den to  look  into  the  empty  tomb  and  see  the  folded 


grave  clothes  and  therefrom  to  conclude  that  Christ 
is  risen,  only  she  must  be  accompanied  by  faith  and 
not  be  surprised  if  faith  like  that  "  other  disciple  " 
shall  outrun  her  and  come  first  to  the  sepul- 

Believing  miracles  to  have  existed  in  the  days 
of  Christ  and  the  Apostles,  is  it  reasonable  to 
conclude  that  they  may  have  continued  to  exist 
until  our  own  time  ?     It  seems  to  us  that  it  is. 

For  in  the  first  place  if  they  should  cease  they 
would  form  quite  a  distinct  exception  to  every 
thing  else  which  the  Lord  introduced  by  his 
ministry.  The  doctrines  which  he  promulgated 
and  which  his  apostles  preached,  atonement,  justi- 
fication, sanctification  and  redemption,  have  never 
been  abrogated  or  modified.  The  ordinances  which 
he  enjoined,  Baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper,  have 
never  been  repealed.  The  divine  operations  in 
the  soul,  which  he  ordained  for  man's  recovery 
from  the  fall,  "the  washing  of  regeneration  and 
the  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost  "  have  never  been 
suspended.  These  belong  to  the  dispensation  of 
Grace  which  Jesus  Christ  introduced  and  which  is 
V>  span  the  whole  period  between  his  first  and  his 

•Jofanxx:  4- 

OF  REASON.  41 

second  advents.  All  orthodox  Christians  hold 
them  to  be  perpetual  and  unchangable. 

And  not  only  so,  there  was  to  be  a  development 
of  these  doctrines  and  operations  of  Christianity 
under  the  administration  of  the  Spirit,  so  that  the 
stream  which  started  with  Christ's  ministry  was  to 
widen  and  deepen  under  the  ministry  of  those  who 
should  come  after  him.  "  I  have  many  things  to 
say  unto  you,  but  ye  cannot  bear  them  now,  how- 
beit  when  he  the  Spirit  of  Truth  is  come,  He  will 
guide  you  into  all  truth"  —  an  enlargement  of 
knowledge  and  a  development  of  doctrine  under 
the  ministry  of  the  Comforter  rather  than  a  de- 
crease ! 

"Verily,  verily  I  say  unto  you,  He  that  believeth 
on  me,  the  works  that  I  do  shall  he  do  also,  and 
greater  works  than  these  shall  he  do  because  I  go 
unto  my  Fathet — "*  a  reinforcement  of  power 
for  service  rather  than  an  abatement !  And  all  in- 
telligent Christians  admit  that  these  promises  were 
fulfilled  in  the  wider  unfolding  of  truth  and  the 
more  extensive  work  of  regeneration  which  have 
occurred  under  the  administration  of  the  Spirit. 

The  law  of  Christianity  is  from  less  to  greater, 

•Johaxiv:  13-16-13. 

43  THE  TESr/AfOATr 

and  not  from  greater  to  less.  "  Of  all  that  Jesus 
began  both  to  do  and  teach  until  the  day  in  which 
he  was  taken  up"  are  the  significant  words  with 
which  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  opens ;  and  as  the 
beginnings  are  less  than  the  unfoldings,  we  may 
conclude  that  the  Lord  was  to  do  more  through 
the  Spirit's  ministry  than  through  his  own.  And 
so  far  as  works  of  regeneration  and  salvation  are 
concerned  this  undoubtedly  proved  true  and  is 
proving  just  as  true  to-day.  The  conversion  of 
three  thousand  souls  in  a  single  day  under  Peter's 
preaching  surpasses  any  thing  which  occurred  in 
the  earthly  ministry  of  Christ ;  and  the  conversion 
of  ten  thousand  in  a  year  on  a  single  mission  field 
in  India,  also  surpasses  the  results  of  any  single 
year  in  the  Saviour's  ministry. 

Now  as  the  "  Works  "  of  Christ  are  among  the 
things  which  He  "  began  to  do,"  miracles  of  heal- 
ing stood  side  by  side  with  miracles  of  regenera- 
tion and  therefore  we  say  that  the  theory  of  the 
"  gradual  cessation "  of  miracles  contradicts  all 
analogy.  We  have  read  of  certain  South  African 
rivers  which  instead  of  beginning  as  tiny  brooks 
and  flowing  on  deepening  and  widening  as  they  go, 
burst  out  from  prolific  springs  and  then  become 

OF  REASON.  43 

shallower  and  shallower  as  they  flow  on  until  they 

are  lost  in  the  wastes  of  sand  without  ever  reach- 
ing the  sea.  Two  streams  of  blessings  started 
from  the  personal  ministry  of  our  Lord,  a  stream 
of  healing  and  a  stream  of  regeneration ;  the  one 
for  the  recovery  of  the  body  and  the  other  for  the 
recovery  of  the  soul,  and  these  two  flowed  on  side 
by  side  through  the  apostolic  age.  Is  it  quite  rea- 
sonable to  suppose  that  the  purpose  of  God  was 
that  one  should  run  on  through  the  whole  dispen- 
sation of  the  Spirit  and  that  the  other  should  fade 
away  and  utterly  disappear  within  a  single  genera- 
tion ?    We  cannot  think  so. 

If  miracles  were  abnormal  manifestations  of  di- 
vine power,  against  nature  as  well  as  above  nature 
they  might  indeed  be  expected  to  cease;  for  the 
abnormal  is  not  as  a  rule  perpetual.  The  earth- 
quakes and  volcanoes,  nature's  agues  and  fever  fits 
are  soon  over  ;  but  the  sunshine  and  the  rain,  the 
breezes  and  the  blossoms,  nature's  tokens  of  health 
are  perennial.  And  miracles  of  healing  are  mani- 
festations of  nature's  perfect  health  and  wholeness, 
lucid  intervals  granted  to  our  deranged  and  suffer- 
ing humanity.  They  are  not  catastrophes,  but 
exhibitions  of  that  divine  order  which  shall  be 


brought  in  when  our  redemption  is  completed.  We 
cannot  for  a  moment  admit  the  complaint  of  scep- 
tics that  miracles  are  an  infraction  of  the  laws  of 
nature.  Alas !  for  them  that  they  have  so  lost  their 
ear  for  harmony  that  they  cannot  distinguish 
earth's  wail  from  Heaven's  Alleluiah;  and  know 
not  the  difference  between  the  groans  of  a  suffer- 
ing creation  and  the  music  of  the  spheres,  as  it  was 
on  that  day  when  "the  morning  stars  sung  together 
and  all  the  sons  of  God  shouted  for  joy."  Mira- 
cles of  healing  and  dispossession  are  reminiscen- 
ces of  an  unfallen  Paradise  and  prophecies  of  a 
Paradise  regained.  Though  we  call  them  super- 
natural, they  are  not  contranaturaL  "  For  surely  " 
as  one  has  said,  "  it  is  plainly  contrary  to  nature 
and  indeed  most  unnatural  that  one  should  have 
eyes  and  not  see,  ears  and  not  hear,  organs  of 
speech  and  not  speak,  and  limbs  without  the  power 
to  use  them  ;  but  not  that  a  Saviour  should  come 
and  loose  his  fetters.  It  was  contrary  to  nature 
that  ruthless  death  should  sever  the  bands  of  love 
which  God  himself  has  knit  between  mother  and 
son,  between  brother  and  sister  but  not  that  a 
young  man  of  Nain  or  a  Lazarus  should  be  released 
from  the  fetters  of  death  through  a  mighty  word  J 

OF  REASON.  45 

And  that  was  the  climax  of  the  unnatural  that  the 
world  should  nail  the  only  righteous  one  to  the  cross ; 
but  not  that  the  holy  bearer  of  that  cross  should 
conquer  undeserved  death,  should  rise  and  victo- 
riously enter  into  his  glory."* 

If  then  miracles  of  healing  are  exhibitions  of 
divine  recovery  and  order  in  nature  and  not  rude 
irruptions  of  disorder,  why  having  been  once  be- 
gun should  they  entirely  cease  ?  We  are  under  the 
dispensation  of  the  Spirit  which  we  hold  to  be  an 
unchangable  dispensation  so  long  as  it  shall  con- 
tinue. On  the  day  of  Pentecost  the  Holy  Spirit 
was  installed  in  office  to  abide  in  the  church  per- 
petually. Exactly  as  the  first  disciples  were  under 
the  personal  ministry  of  Christ  we  are  under 
the  personal  ministry  of  the  Comforter.  Having 
begun  his  miracles  at  Cana  of  Galilee,  Jesus  never 
permanently  suspended  them.  His  last  gracious 
act  before  he  was  delivered  into  the  hands  of  wick- 
ed men  was  to  stretch  forth  his  hand  and  heal  the 
ear  of  the  high  priest's  servant.  And  having  wrought 
the  first  notable  miracle  after  Pentecost  by  the 
hand  of  Peter  at  "  the  Beautiful  gate  "  why  should 
the  Holy  Ghost  in  a  little  while  cease  from  his  mi- 



raculous  works?    We  know  that  the  Lord  "did 

not  many  mighty  works  "  in  a  certain  place  "  because 
of  their  unbelief"  and  that  the  place  where  he  was 
thus  hindered  was  "  in  his  own  country  and  in  his 
own  house."  But  we  know  not  that  he  would  not 
do  mighty  works  in  any  place  u  faith  were  present ; 
and  were  it  not  a  simpler  solution  of  this  whole 
question  to  say  that  possibly  Christ  through  the 
Holy  Ghost  will  not  do  many  miracles  to-day  on 
account  of  man's  unbelief,  than  to  say  that  he  wills 
not  to  do  them  ? 

Then  again  the  use  which  was  made  of  miracles 
of  healing  as  signs  seems  to  argue  strongly  for 
their  permanency. 

If  the  substance  remains  unchanged  why  should 
the  sign  which  was  originally  chosen  to  exhibit  it 
be  superseded  ? 

It  is  said,  indeed,  with  some  show  of  reasonable- 
ness, that  Christianity  being  a  spiritual  system, 
physical  miracles  were  but  the  staging  employed 
for  the  erection  of  that  system,  destined  to  fall 
away  and  disappear  so  soon  as  it  should  be  com- 
pleted. That  certainly  might  be  so.  But  how  do 
we  regard  the  argument  of  those  who  have  reason- 
ed precisely  thus  about  the  ordinances  of  Christian- 

OF  REASON.  47 

ity  ?  The  Friends  and  other  bodies  of  religionists 
have  said  that  the  rites  of  Baptism  and  the  Lord's 
Supper  are  too  physical  to  be  perpetuated  in  con- 
nection with  a  spiritual  religion ;  that  whatever 
place  they  may  have  had  in  the  founding  of 
Christianity  they  are  not  demanded  for  its  continu- 
ance. To  which  we  reply  at  once — first,  that  they 
constitute  a  vivid  sign  and  picture-writing  of  the 
great  foundation  facts  of  Christianity,  the  death 
and  resurrection  of  our  Lord ;  that  they  are  a 
pledge  and  earnest  of  those  great  things  to  come 
at  the  resurrection  of  the  just  and  the  marriage 
supper  of  the  Lamb,  and  that  by  the  constant  and 
glowing  appeal  which  they  make  to  the  senses, 
they  tend  to  keep  these  facts  in  perpetual  remem- 
brance ;  and,  secondly,  that  however  we  may  rea- 
son about  it,  these  are  ordinances,  established  for 
continual  observance  by  the  Lord  until  he  come, 
and  therefore  we  are  forbidden  to  terminate  them. 
This  reasoning  would  be  accepted,  doubtless,  as 
sound  by  all  orthodox  believers.  But  we  can  argue 
in  precisely  the  same  way  about  the  "signs"  which 
attested  the  first  preaching  of  the  Gospel.  In  the 
great  commission  we  have  them  solemnly  estab. 
lished  as  the  accompaniments  of   preaching  and 


believing  the  Gospel.  In  James'  epistle  we  find 
healing  recognized  as  an  ordinance,  just  as  in 
Paul's  epistles  to  the  Romans  and  to  the  Corinthi- 
ans we  find  Baptism  and  the  Supper  recognized  as 
ordinances.  As  signs  they  could  never  loose  their 
significance  till  the  Lord  comes  again ;  they  pointed 
upward  and  told  the  world  that  Christ  who  had 
been  crucified  was  alive  and  on  the  throne ;  they 
pointed  forward  and  declared  that  he  would  come 
again  and  subdue  all  things  unto  himseli  This 
last  we  believe  to  be  the  chief  testimony  of  mira- 
cles as  signs  :  They  were  given  to  be  witnesses  to 
the  "  restitution  of  all  things  "  which  Christ  shall 
accomplish  at  his  coming  and  Kingdom.  For 
notice  how  invariably  our  Lord  joins  the  command- 
ment to  heal  the  sick  and  to  cast  out  devils  with 
the  commission  to  preach  the  Kingdom,  thus : 
"  Jesus  went  about  preaching  the  Gospel  of  the 
Kingdom  and  healing  all  manner  of  sickness  and 
all  manner  of  disease  amongst  the  people."  "And 
as  ye  go  preach,  saying  :  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven 
is  as  hand.  Heal  the  sick ;  cleanse  the  lepers ; 
raise  the  dead  ;  cast  out  devils."  *  Healing  and 
resurrection  and  the  casting  out  of  demons  were  a 

*  Matt.  4  :  ij.    Matt  10 :  7,  read  also  Luke  9  :  1  and  10,  9, 


kind  of  first  fruits  of  the  Kingdom,  to  be  present- 
ed along  with  its  announcement.  As,  to  use  a 
familiar  illustration,  the  commercial  traveller  car- 
ries samples  of  his  goods  as  he  goes  forth  soliciting 
trade,  the  Lord  would  have  his  ministers  carry 
specimens  and  tokens  of  the  Kingdom  in  their 
hands  as  they  went  forth  to  preach  that  Kingdom.* 
This  seems  to  be  what  is  referred  to  in  that 
picture  of  the  groaning  creation  which  we  find  in 
the  eighth  chapter  of  Romans  :  "  But  ourselves, 
also,  which  have  the  first  fruits  of  the  Spirit  even 
we  ourselves  groan  within  ourselves,  waiting  for 
the  adoption  to  wit  the  redemption  of  the  body."  f 
As  though  it  were  said :  we  have  witnessed  the 
works  of  the  Spirit  in  healing  the  body  of  its  sick- 
nesses, in  dispossessing  it  of  the  evil  spirit,  in  quick- 

*  "  The  devil  is  said  to  be  he  who  has  the  power  of  death :  he  is  the  author  of 
death ;  ha  introduced  sin  into  the  world,  and  through  sin  death ;  and  as  he  is  the 
author  of  death,  so  he  is  the  author  of  disease,  which  is  just  a  form  of  death,  and 
which,  as  well  as  death,  is  the  work  of  the  devil.  And,  therefore,  Jesus  while  he 
was  upon  the  earth  healed  the  sick  and  raised  the  dead,  not  merely  to  typify  a 
spiritual  healing  and  quickening,  but  to  prove  that  he  was  indeed  the  promised 
Deliverer  by  destroying  the  works  of  the  devil,  and  also  to  give  a  fore-taste  and  a 
shadow  of  the  ultimate  effect  of  his  redemption  upon  the  whole  man,  body  and 
soul.  And  thus  we  find  in  the  New  Testament  that  the  healing  of  the  sick  and 
the  preaching  of  the  Gospel  of  the  Kingdom  are  almost  always  co-joined,  and 
are  so  spoken  of  as  though  they  meant  the  same  thing."  —  Thos  Erskine;  Bra- 
zen Serpent,  p.  272. 

1  Romans  8  :  23. 


cning  it  from  the  power  of  death  ;  and  this  make* 
us  long  only  the  more  for  that  crowning  and  con. 
summated  work  of  the  Spirit,  of  which  these 
things  are  but  an  earnest ;  when  "  he  that  raised 
up  Jesus  from  the  dead  shall  quicken  your  mortal 
bodies  by  his  Spirit  that  dwelleth  in  you."  These 
signs  were  the  fore-tokens  of  the  body's  redemp- 
tion which  the  Lord  at  the  first  bade  his  messengers 
carry  with  them  as  they  went  forth  preaching  Jesus 
and  the  resurrection.  Even  dumb,  suffering  nature 
would  be  made  glad  by  the  sight  of  them.  Goethe 
beautifully  says,  "  Often  have  I  had  the  sensation 
as  if  nature  in  wailing  sadness  entreated  something 
of  me,  so  that  not  to  understand  what  she  longed 
for  cut  me  to  the  heart."  But  we  understand  what 
she  longs  for,  "  For  we  know  that  the  whole  cre- 
ation groaneth  and  travaileth  in  pain  together  until 
now,  waiting  for  the  adoption,  to  wit,  the  redemption 
of  the  body."  And  they  who  "  have  tasted  the 
powers  of  the  world  to  come  "  were  bidden  to  go 
forth  and  preach  the  Kingdom,  bearing  in  their 
hands  the  grapes  of  Eschol,  which  they  have 
brought  from  that  Kingdom,  that  they  may  show 
what  a  goodly  land  that  is  where  "The  inhabitant 
shall  no  more  say  I  am  sick."     Thus,  not  only  our 

OF  REASON.  51 

wounded  and  pain-stricken  humanity  shall  be 
cheered  with  the  hope  of  better  things,  but  even 
dumb  nature  shall  be  comforted  by  these  fore- 
gleams  of  that  millennium  wherein  "  the  creature 
itself  also  shall  be  delivered  from  the  bondage  of 
corruption  into  the  glorious  liberty  of  the  children 
of  God."  * 

Now  why,  if  these  credentials  were  so  rigidly 
attached  to  the  first  preaching  of  the  Kingdom, 
should  they  utterly  disappear  from  its  later  pro- 
clamation ?  There  is  the  same  groaning  of  cre- 
ation to  be  answered  ;  the  same  coming  of  the  King 
to  be  announced  ;  the  same  unrepealed  commission 
of  the  Master  to  be  carried  out.  The  answer 
given  by  the  majority  to  this  question  is  :  "Signs 
are  no  longer  needed."  If  reason  can  be  satisfied 
with  this  answer,  faith  cannot.  For  "faith  has 
its  reasons,  which  reason  cannot  understand." 
Among  these  is  this  :  "  Jesus  Christ,  the  same 
yesterday,  to-day,  and  forever."     Miracles  we  hold 

♦"Sickness  is  sin  apparent  in  the  body,  the  presentiment  of  death,  the  forerunner 
of  corruption.  Disease  of  every  kind  is  mortality  begun.  Now,  as  Christ  came 
to  destroy  death,  and  will  yet  redeem  the  body  from  the  bondage  of  corruption,  if 
the  Church  is  to  have  a  first-fruits  or  earnest  of  this  power  it  must  be  by  receiving 
power  over  diseases  which  are  the  first  fruits  and  earnest  of  death."— Edward 
Irving.    Works.     V.  p.  464. 


to  be  a  shadow  of  good  things  to  come.  The  good 
thing  to  come  for  the  soul  is  its  full  and  perfect 
sanctification  at  the  appearing  of  the  Lord.  The 
work  of  regeneration  and  daily  renewal  by  the 
Holy  Ghost  is  the  constant  reminder  and  pledge 
and  preparation  for  that  event ;  and  regeneration 
is  a  "perpetual  miracle."  The  good  thing  to  come 
for  the  body  is  "  glorified  corporeity,"  resurrection 
and  transformation  into  Christ's  perfect  likeness 
when  he  shall  appear.  Healing  by  the  power  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  is  the  pledge  and  foretoken  of  this 
consummation.  Was  it  in  God's  purpose  that  we 
should  never  again  witness  this  after  the  apostolic 
age  was  past  ? 

Here  let  us  answer  three  or  four  objections 
which  have  been  urged  against  our  position. 
"  If  you  insist  that  miracles  of  healing  are  possi- 
ble in  this  age,  then,"  it  is  said,  "you  must 
logically  admit  that  such  miracles  as  raising  the 
dead,  turning  water  into  wine,  and  speaking  in 
unknown  tongues  are  still  possible."  But  it  re- 
quires only  a  casual  glance  to  see  that  healing 
through  the  prayer  of  faith  stands  on  an  entirely 
different  basis  from  any  of  these  other  miracles. 

Raising  the  dead  is  no  where  promised  as  a 

OF  REASON.  53 

privilege  or  possibility  for  the  believers  of  to-day. 
There  is,  indeed,  in  one  instance,  Matt,  x  :  8,  a  com- 
mand to  raise  the  dead ;  but  this  was  given  specifi- 
cally to  the  twelve  and  in  a  temporary  commission. 
It  therefore  differs  very  materially  from  the  prom- 
ise in  Mark  xvi,  which  was  to  all  believers,  and  is 
contained  in  a  commission  which  was  for  the  entire 
dispensation  of  the  Spirit.  That  the  Lord  did  this 
miracle,  and  that  his  apostles  did  it,  in  one  or  two 
instances  is  not  enough.  Unless  we  can  show  some 
specific  promise  given  to  the  church  as  a  whole  we 
are  bound  to  concede  that  such  works  are  not  for 
us  or  for  our  age.  Healing  the  sick,  on  the  con- 
trary, rests  on  a  distinct  and  specific  promise  to 

Miracles  on  external  nature,  like  the  turning  of 
water  into  wine,  and  the  multiplying  of  the  loaves, 
belong  exclusively  to  the  Lord ;  we  do  not  find 
them  perpetuated  beyond  his  own  ministry  either 
in  fact  or  in  promise.  Miracles  of  cure,  on  the 
contrary,  being  in  the  direct  line  of  the  Lord's 
redemptive  work,  abound  in  the  ministry  of  the 
disciples  as  they  do  in  that  of  the  Lord,  and  have 
the  clear  pledge  of  scripture  for  their  performance. 
The  discrimination  which  Godet  makes  between 


miracles  of  healing  and  those  performed  on  the 
outward  world  we  believe  to  be  strictly  accurate. 
He  says  :  "  One  consequence  of  the  close  connec* 
tion  of  soul  and  body  is  that  when  the  spirit  of 
man  is  in  this  way  vivified  by  the  power  of  God  it 
can  sometimes  exert  upon  the  body,  and  through 
it  upon  other  bodies,  an  influence  which  is  marvel- 
lous. This  kind  of  miracle  is  therefore  possible  in 
every  age  of  the  Church's  history  ;  it  was  possible  in 
the  middle  ages,  and  is  possible  still.  That  which 
would  seem  to  be  no  longer  possible  is  the  miracu- 
lous action  of  the  divine  power  upon  external 
nature.  The  age  of  such  miracles  seems  to  have 
closed  with  the  work  of  revelation,  of  which  they 
were  but  the  auxiliaries."  * 

As  to  miracles  of  prophecy,  we  see  no  reason  to 
believe  that  they  were  strictly  limited  to  apostolic 
times.  We  recall,  indeed  the  one  important  text 
on  this  question,  "  But  whether  there  be  prophe- 
cies, they  shall  fail ;  whether  there  be  tongues  they 
shall  cease ;  whether  there  be  knowledge  it  shall 
vanish  away  ;  for  we  know  in  part,  and  we  proph- 
ecy in  part,  but  when  that  which  is  perfect  is  come, 
then  that  which  is  in  part  shall  be  done  away." 

•Defence  of  the  Christian  Fahh,  p  ao& 


Thus  speaks  the  Spirit  in  the  Epistle  to  the  Cor- 

By  this  scripture  some  have  attempted  to  shut 
up  all  miracles  within  the  apostolic  era  as  belong- 
ing to  the  things  which  were  "  in  part,"  and  there- 
fore destined  to  pass  away.  But,  in  the  first  place, 
let  it  be  noted  that  it  is  only  prophecies,  tongues 
and  knowledge  that  are  specified,  not  healings. 
And  we  are  to  put  no  more  within  this  limitation 
than  the  word  of  God  has  put  there.  And,  in  the 
second  place,  the  bounds  set  to  the  exercise  of 
these  gifts  is  "  when  that  which  is  pet  feet  is  come" 
which  scholarship  has  generally  held  to  mean,  when 
the  Lord  himself  shall  return  to  earth.*  The  gifts 
of  tongues  and  of  prophecy  therefore  do  not  seem 
to  be  confined  within  the  first  age  of  the  church. 
We  cannot  forget,  indeed  that  the  utterances  of 
prophecy  and  knowledge  culminated  and  found  their 
highest  expression  when  the  Canon  of  the  New  Tes- 
tament Scriptures  was  completed  ;  so  that  some 
thoughtful  expositors  have  conjectured  that  this  may 
have  been  the  coming  of  that  which  is  perfect  so  far 
as  prophecy  and  knowledge  are  concerned.    But  in 

*  i  Cor.  i  j :  to.  "  This  verse  shows  by  the  emphatic  then  that  the  time  when 
Jhc  gifts  shall  cease  is  the  end  of  this  dispensation.  The  imperfect  shall  netceaee 
•SI!  the  perfect  is  brought  in."  —EMcott. 


either  event  this  does  not  touch  the  gifts  of  heat 
ing.  These  cannot  have  culminated  so  long  as 
sickness  and  demoniacal  possession  are  unchecked 
in  the  world ;  nor  until  the  great  Healer  and  Re- 
storer shall  return  from  above. 

To  sum  up  these  observations  then ;  is  it  reason- 
able to  conclude  that  the  office  of  healing  through 
faith,  resting  on  the  same  apostolic  example,  and 
held  by  the  same  tenure  of  divine  promise  and 
precept  as  the  other  functions  of  the  Christian 
ministry,  was  alone  destined  to  pass  away  and 
disappear  within  a  single  generation?  With  the 
advance  in  power  and  knowledge  which  was  to  take 
place  under  the  administration  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
after  Pentecost,  is  it  reasonable  to  believe  that 
in  this  one  particular  instance  there  was  designed 
to  be  a  signal  retarding  of  supernatural  energy  ? 
Is  the  Lord  less  likely  to  heal  those  who  extend  to 
him  the  touch  of  faith  now  that  he  is  on  the  right 
hand  of  God,*  having  all   power  in   heaven  and 

•"  Is  the  truce  broke  ?  or  cause  we  have 

A  Mediatour  now  with  thee, 
Dost  thou  therefore  old  treatyes  wave, 
And  by  appeales  from  him  decree  ? 

Or  is  't  so,  as  some  green  heads  say, 

That  now  all  miracles  must  cease? 
Though  thou  hast  promised  they  should  stay 

The  tokens  of  the  Church,  and  peace." 

—  U—nt  VaqgiaM,  1654. 


earth  given  to  him,  than  he  was  while  on  earth  ? 
Is  it  reasonable  to  believe  that  the  administration 
of  the  Comforter  has  changed  since  its  first  in- 
auguration, so  that,  while  his  mission  and  his  offices 
were  to  continue  till  the  end  of  this  age,  it  is  found 
that  one  of  his  ministries  has  entirely  disappeared 
since  the  days  of  the  apostles  ?  With  sin  and  sick- 
ness still  holding  sway  in  the  world,  is  it  reasonable 
to  consider  the  latter  as  entirely  beyond  the  re- 
demptive work  of  Christ,  while  the  former  is  so 
entirely  met  by  that  work,  which  was  not  the  case 
in  the  beginning  ?  And,  finally,  until  the  harvest 
shall  come,  is  it  reasonable  to  suppose  that  we  are 
to  be  left  entirely  without  the  first  fruits  of  our 
redemption  ?  Until  we  can  answer  these  questions, 
perhaps  caution  is  becoming  us,  at  least,  in  deny 
ing  that  miracles  of  healing  are  still  wrought 



u  Witnesses  who  are  above  suspicion  leave  no 
room  for  doubt  that  the  miraculous  powers  of  the 
apostolic  age  continued  to  operate  at  least  into  the 
third  century."  Such  is  the  conclusion  of  Dr. 
Gerhard  Uhlhorn  ;  and  one  who  has  read  the  work 
from  which  this  opinion  is  taken  will  not  doubt  his 
eminent  fitness  to  judge  of  such  a  question.*  This 
concession  is  a  very  important  one  in  its  bearings 
on  this  whole  subject.  Prove  that  Miracles  were 
wrought,  for  example,  in  the  second  century  after 
Christ,  and  no  reason  can  be  thereafter  urged  why 
they  might  not  be  wrought  in  the  nineteenth  cen* 
tury.  The  apostolic  age,  it  must  be  admitted,  was  a 
peculiarly  favored  one.  So  long  as  the  men  were 
still  living  who  had  seen  the  Lord,  and  had  com. 
panied  with  him  during  his  earthly  ministry,  there 
were  possible  secrets  of  power  in  their  possession 
that  a  later  generation  might  not  have.      It  is 

*  CnaAia  of  Christianity  with  Hcathcru«m,  p.  169. 


easy  to  see,  therefore,  that  this  period  might  be 
especially  distinguished  by  the  gifts  of  the  Spirit. 

And  yet  the  Saviour  seems  to  be  careful  to  teaoh 
that  there  would  be  an  augmenting  rather  than  a 
diminishing  of  supernatural  energy  after  his  de- 
parture. "  But  ye  shall  receive  power  after  that 
the  Holy  Ghost  is  come  upon  you."  "Verily, 
verily  I  say  unto  you,  He  that  believeth  on  me  the 
vvorks  that  I  do  shall  he  do  also,  and  greater 
works  than  these  shall  he  do ;  because  I  go  to  my 
Father."  *  He  made  no  provision  for  the  arrest  of, 
the  stream  of  divine  manifestations  which  he  had 
started,  either  in  the  next  age  or  in  a  subsequent 
age.  But,  conceding  certain  marked  advantages 
possessed  by  the  immediate  followers  of  Christ,  if 
we  find  in  history  that  there  is  no  abrupt  termina- 
tion of  miracles  with  the  expiration  of  the  apos- 
tolic age,  then  we  must  begin  to  raise  the  question 
why  there  should  be  any  termination  at  all,  so 
long  as  the  Church  remains,  and  the  ministry  of 
the  Spirit  is  perpetuated  ? 

Now,  when  we  turn  to  the  writings  of  the 
Christian  Fathers,  as  they  are  called,  we  find 
the  testimonies  abundant  to  the  continuance  of 

*  Acts  1-9.    John  14 :  12. 


the  miraculous  powers.     We  will  quote  only  a  few 

as  specimens  from  a  large  number,  which  may  be 

readily    collated  by  any  one  who    will  take  the 

pains.     Justin  Martyr  says  : 

"  For  numberless  demoniacs  throughout  the 
whole  world  and  in  your  city,  many  of  our  Christ- 
ian men,  exorcising  them  m  the  name  of  Jesus 
Christ,  who  was  crucified  under  Pontias  Pilate, 
have  healed,  and  do  heal,  rendering  helpless  and 
driving  the  possessing  devils  out  of  the  men, 
though  they  could  not  be  cured  by  all  the  other 
exorcists  and  those  who  used  incantations  and 
drugs."  * 

Irenaeus  says : 

"Wherefore  also  those  who  are  in  truth  the 
disciples  receiving  grace  from  him  do  in  his  name 
perform  miracles  so  as  to  promote  the  welfare  of 
others,  according  to  the  gift  which  each  has  re- 
ceived from  him." 

Then  after  enumerating  the  various  gifts  he  con 

tinues : 

"  Others  still  heal  the  sick  by  laying  their  hands 
upon  them,  and  they  are  made  whole."  t 

Tertullian  says  : 

"  For  the  clerk  of  one  of  them  who  was  liable 
to  be  thrown  upon  the  ground  by  an  evil  spirit 
was  set  free  from  his  affliction,  as  was  also  the 
relative  of  another,  and  the  little  boy  of  a  third. 

*  Apol.  ii.    Chap.  6. 
t  Adv.  Hacr  Book  u  :  4. 


And  how  many  men  of  rank,  to  say  nothing  of  the 
common  people,  have  been  delivered  from  devils 
and  healed  of  disease?* 

Origen  says : 

"And  some  give  evidence  of  their  having  re- 
ceived through  their  faith  a  marvellous  power  by 
the  cures  which  they  perform,  invoking  no  other 
name  over  those  who  need  their  help  than  that  of 
the  God  of  all  things  and  of  Jesus,  along  with  a 
mention  of  his  history.  For  by  these  means  we 
too  have  seen  many  persons  freed  from  grievous 
calamities  and  from  distractions  of  mind  and  mad- 
ness, and  countless  other  ills  which  could  be  cured 
neither  by  men  or  devils,  "f 

Clement  says,  in  giving  directions  for  visiting 

the  sick  and  afflicted  : 

"  Let  them,  therefore,  with  fasting  and  prayer, 
make  their  intercessions,  and  not  with  the  well 
arranged  and  fitly  ordered  words  of  learning,  but 
as  men  who  liave  received  the  gift  of  healing  con- 
fidently, to  the  glory  of  God."% 

The  weight  of  these  and  like  testimonies  is  so 

generally  acknowledged  by  Church  historians  that 

it  seems  little  less  than  hardihood  for  scholars  to 

go  on  repeating  that  well  worn  phrase  "  the  age 

of  miracles  ended  with  the  apostles."     Mesheim, 

speaking  of  the  fourth  century,  says  : 

*  Ad.  Scap.  iv  ;  4. 

*  Contra  Celsum  B.  ill.    Chap.  14.  t  Epis.  C.  xu. 


"  But  I  cannot  on  the  other  hand  assent  to  the 
opinion  of  those  who  maintain  that  in  this  century 
miracles  had  entirely  ceased."  * 

Dr.  Waterland  says :  "  The  miraculous  gifts 
continued  through  the  third  century,  at  least."  f 

Dodwell  declares  that  "  though  they  generally 
ceased  with  the  third  century,  there  are  several 
strongly  attested  cases  in  the  fourth." 

Dr.  Marshall,  the  translator  of  Cyprian,  says 
"  there  are  successive  evidences  of  them  down  to 
the  age  of  Constantine." 

"  The  age  of  Constantine"  %  is  a  significant  date  at 
which  to  fix  the  termination  of  miracles.  Foralmost 
all  Church  historians  hold  that  there  was  a  period 
when  the  simpler  and  purer  forms  of  supernatural 
manifestation  ceased  to  be  generally  recognized,  or 
were  supplanted  by  the  gross  and  spurious  type 
which  characterize  the  Church  of  the  middle  ages. 
And  th«era  of  Constantine's  conversion  confessedly 

•  Cent  iv. 

t  See  list  of  citation*  in  "  Crtaiitn  and  Redemption"  London,  1877.    P.  50. 

%  "  With  regard  to  the  continuance  of  miracles  after  the  apostolic  age,  we  have 
testimonies,  not  only  from  TerttiMian  and  Origen,  who  tell  us  that  many  in  their 
time  wore  convinced,  againut  their  will,  of  the  truths  of  Christianity  by  miraculous 
visions,  but,  also,  much  later  from  Theodore  of  Mopsueste  (429).  The  latter 
says  :  Many  heathen  amongst  us  air  being  healed  by  Chrirtians  from  whatever 
sickness  they  have,  so  abundant  are  miracles  in  our  midst."  Christlieb  :  Modem 
Woubt,  p.   Til. 


marks  a  decided  transition  from  a  purer  to  a  more 
degenerate  and  worldly  Christianity.  From  this 
period  on,  we  find  the  Church  ceasing  to  depend 
wholly  on  the  Lord  in  heaven,  and  to  rest  in  the 
patronage  and  support  of  earthly  rulers ;  and  ceasing 
to  look  ever  for  the  coming  and  Kingdom  of  Christ 
as  the  consummation  of  her  hopes,  and  to  exult 
in  her  present  triumph  and  worldly  splendor. 
Many  of  her  preachers  made  bold  to  declare  that 
the  Kingdom  had  come,  and  that  the  prophetic 
word,  "  He  shall  have  dominion  from  sea  to  sea, 
and  from  the  river  to  the  ends  of  the  earth  "  had 
been  fulfilled.* 

If  now,  as  we  have  indicated  elsewhere,  the 
miracles  were  signs  of  the  sole  kingship  of  the 
living  and  exalted  Christ,  and  pledges  of  his  com- 
ing again  to  subdue  all  things  to  himself,  it  is  not 
strange  that  as  the  substance  of  these  truths 
faded  from  mens  minds,  their  sign  should  have 
gradually  disappeared  also.  At  all  events  it  is 
very  significant  that  precisely  the  same  period,  the 
first  three  centuries,  is  that  generally  named  by 
historians  as  the  era  in  which  that  apostolic  hope, 
"  the  glorious  appearing  of  the  great  God  and  our 

*  Eusebius  l.  x.  3,  4. 


Saviour,  Jesus  Christ,"  and  that  apostolic  faith, 
"  they  shall  lay  hands  on  the  sick  and  they  shall 
recover,"  remained  in  general  exercise.  It  is  not 
altogether  strange,  therefore,  that  when  the  Church 
forgot  that  "  her  citizenship  is  in  heaven,"  and 
began  to  establish  herself  in  luxury  and  splendor 
on  earth,  she  should  cease  to  exhibit  the  super- 
natural gifts  of  heaven.  And  there  is  a  grim 
irony  in  the  fact,  that  after  death  and  the  grave 
had  gradually  become  the  goal  of  the  Christian's 
hope,  instead  of  the  personal  coming  of  Christ, 
then  we  should  begin  to  find  miracles  of  healing 
alleged  by  means  of  contact  with  the  bones  of 
dead  saints  and  martyrs,  instead  of  miracles  of 
healing  through  the  prayer  of  faith  offered  to  the 
living  Christ.  Such  is  the  change  introduced  by 
the  age  of  Constantine.* 

But  now  comes  a  most  suggestive  fact ;  that 
whenever  we  find  a  revival  of  primitive  faith  and 
apostolic  simplicity  there  we  find  a  profession  of 
the  chaste  and  evangelical  miracles  which  character- 
ized the  apostolic  age.     These  attend  the  cradle  of 

•  "  Ah,  Constantine !  of  how  much  ill  was  cause, 
Not  thy  conversion,  but  those  rich  domains 
That  the  first  wealth v  pope  received  of  thee." 

—  DanU. 


every  spiritual  reformation,  as  they  did  the  birth 

of    the   Church   herself.     Waldenses,    Moravians, 

Huguenots,    Covenanters,    Friends,    Baptists   and 

Methodists  all  have  their  record  of  them. 

Hear  the  following  frank  and  simple  confession  of 

the  Waldenses,  that  people  who  for  so  many  ages 

kept  the  virgin's  lamp  trimmed  and  burning  amid 

the  gross  darkness  with  which  the  Papal  harlot  had 

overspread  the  people  : 

"  Therefore,  concerning  this  anointing  of  the 
sick,  we  hold  it  as  an  article  of  faith,  and  profess 
sincerely  from  the  heart  that  sick  persons,  when 
they  ask  it,  may  lawfully  be  anointed  with  the 
anointing  oil  by  one  who  joins  with  them  in  pray- 
ing that  it  may  be  efficacious  to  the  healing  of  the 
body  according  to  the  design  and  end  and  effect 
mentioned  by  the  apostles  ;  and  we  profess  that 
such  an  anointing  performed  according  to  the 
apostolic  design  and  practice  will  be  healing  and 

Then  after  condemning  extreme  unction,  that 

sacrament  of  the  Papists  wherein  an  ordinance  for 

life  is  perverted  into  an  ordinance  for  death,  they 

say  further : 

"  Albeit  we  confess  that  the  anointing  of  the 
sick  performed  according  to  the  design,  end  and 
purpose  of  the  apostles,  and  according  to  their 
practice  and  power  of  which  St.  Mark  and  James 

•  Johannis  Lukawitz  Waldensis  Confessio  1431.    See  also  Waldensia,  p.  25. 


make  mention,  is  lawful ;  and  if  any  priest  possess 
ing  the  grace  of  healings  had  so  anointed  the  sick 
md  they  have  recovered  we  would  exhort  all  that 
when  they  are  really  ill  they  omit  not  to  receive 
that  ordinance  at  their  hands,  and  in  no  way 
despise  it,  because  despisers  of  that  or  of  other 
ordinances,  so  far  as  they  are  ordained  by  Christ, 
are  to  be  punished  and  corrected,  according  to  the 
rules  of  the  evangelical  law." 

The  Moravians,  or  United  Brethren  as  they  are 
otherwise  called,  have  obtained  a  good  report 
among  all  Christians  for  their  simple  piety,  and 
especially  for  their  fervent  missionary  zeal.  They 
have  not  only  been  earnest  reformers,  but  reform- 
ers of  reformers ;  so  that  such  men  as  Wesley, 
catching  their  light  and  getting  kindled  by  it,  have 
brought  a  new  revival  to  the  backslidden  children 
of  the  Reformation.  On  principles  already  referred 
to,  we  might  expect  to  find  their  missionary  zeal 
signalized  by  supernatural  tokens.  And  so  it  has 
been,  if  we  may  believe  what  seems  to  be  trust- 
worthy records.  In  what  is  regarded  as  a  very 
faithful  history  of  the  United  Brethren,  that  of 
Rev.  A.  Bost,  the  author  gives  his  own  view  of  the 
continuance  of  the  apostolic  gifts  in  a  very  clear 
manner,  and  records  for  us  with  equal  clearness 
the  sentiments  of  the  Moravians.     He  says  : 

"  We  are,  indeed,  well  aware  that,  so  far  from  its 


being  possible  to  prove  by  scripture,  or  by  experi- 
ence, that  visions  and  dreams,  the  gift  of  miracles, 
healings  and  other  extraordinary  gifts,  have  abso- 
lutely ceased  in  Christendom  since  the  apostolic 
times,  it  is  on  the  contrary  proved,  both  by  facts 
and  by  scripture,  that  there  may  always  be  these 
gifts  where  there  is  faith,  and  that  they  will  never 
be  entirely  detached  from  it.  We  need  only  take 
care  to  discern  the  true  from  the  false,  and  to  dis- 
tinguish from  miracles  proceeding  from  the  Holy 
Ghost,  lying  miracles,  or  those  which  without  be* 
ing  so  decidedly  of  the  devil  do  not  so  decidedly 
indicate  the  presence  of  the  Lord."  * 

In  this   book    are    several    statements   of   the 

Brethren  concerning  the  character  and  discipline 

of  their  churches.     The  famous  Zinzendorf  writes 

as  follows : 

"  To  believe  against  hope  is  the  root  of  the  gift 
of  miracles  ;  and  I  owe  this  testimony  to  our  be- 
loved Church,  that  apostolic  powers  are  there 
manifested.  We  have  had  undeniable  proofs  there- 
of in  the  unequivocal  discovery  of  things,  persons, 
and  circumstances,  which  could  not  humanly  have 
bee  a  discovered,  in  the  healing  of  maladies  in 
themselves  incurable,  such  as  cancers,  consumptions, 
when  the  patient  was  in  the  agonies  of  death,  &c, 
all  by  means  of  prayer,  or  of  a  single  word."  f 

Speaking  of  the  year  1730,  he  says  : 

"  At   this    juncture  various   supernatural  gifts 

*  Bost  1,  p.  17 
t  Idem,  p.  hi. 


were  manifested  in  the  Churek,  and  miraculous 
cures  were  wrought.  The  brethren  and  sisters 
believed  what  the  Saviour  had  said  respecting  the 
efficacy  of  prayer ;  and  when  any  object  strongly 
interested  them  they  used  to  speak  to  him  about 
it,  and  to  trust  in  him  as  capable  of  all  good  ;  then 
it  was  done  unto  them  according  to  their  faith. 
The  count  (Zinzendorf)  rejoiced  at  it  with  all  his 
heart,  and  silently  praised  the  Saviour  who  thus 
willingly  condescended  to  what  is  poor  and  little. 
In  this  freedom  of  the  brethren  towards  our  Sav- 
iour, Jesus  Christ,  he  recognized  a  fruit  of  the 
Spirit,  concerning  which  they  ought  on  no  account 
to  make  themselves  uneasy,  whoever  it  might  be, 
but  rather  to  respect  him.  At  the  same  time  he  did 
not  wish  the  brethren  and  sisters  to  make  too 
much  noise  about  these  matters,  and  regard  them 
as  extraordinary  but  when,  for  example,  a  brother 
was  cured  of  disease,  even  of  the  worst  kind,  by  a 
single  word  or  by  some  prayer,  he  viewed  this  as  a 
very  simple  matter,  calling  to  mind,  ever  that  say- 
ing of  scripture,  that  signs  were  not  for  those  who 
believed,  but  for  those  who  believed  not."  * 

Thus  we  have  the  sentiment  of  the  Moravians 
on  the  subject  of  Miracles  very  distinctly  indicated. 
And  the  statements  quite  accord  with  their  simple 
faith  and  filial  confidence  in  the  Lord,  as  indicated 
in  other  things. 

The  following  furnishes  a  very  beautiful  glimpse 
into  the  actual  miraculous  experiences  above  re 
ferred  to : 


"Jean  de  Wattcville  had  a  childlike  confidence 
in  our  Saviour's  promise  to  hear  his  children's  pray- 
ers. Of  this  he  often  had  experience.  One  ex- 
ample we  will  here  offer :  —  A  married  sister  be- 
came extremely  ill  at  Hernnhut.  The  physician 
had  given  up  all  hopes,  and  her  husband  was 
plunged  in  grief.  Watteville  visited  the  patient, 
found  her  joyfully  expecting  her  removal,  and  took 
his  leave,  after  having  encouraged  her  in  this  happy 
frame.  It  was  at  that  time  still  the  custom  of 
unmarried  brethren,  on  Sunday  evening,  to  go 
about  singing  hymns  before  the  brethren's  houses, 
with  an  instrumental  accompaniment.  Watteville 
made  them  sing  some  appropriate  hymns  under 
the  window  of  the  sick  sister,  at  the  same  time 
praying  in  his  heart  to  the  Lord  that  he  would  be 
pleased,  if  he  thought  good,  to  restore  her  to 
health.  He  conceived  a  hope  of  this  so  full  of 
sweetness  and  faith  that  he  sang  with  confidence 
these  lines : 

'  Sacred  Cross,  oh  sacred  Cross ! 

Where  my  Saviour  died  for  me, 
From  my  soul,  redeemed  from  loss, 

Bursts  a  flame  of  love  to  thee. 

When  I  reach  my  dying  hour 

Only  let  them  speak  thy  name ; 
By  its  all  prevailing  power 

Back  my  voice  returns  again.' 

What  was  the  astonishment  of  those  who  sur- 
rounded the  bed  of  this  dying  sister  when  they 
saw  her  sit  up,  and  join  with  a  tone  of  animation 
in  singing  the  last  line  : 

4  Back  my  voice  returns  again.* 

To  his  great  amazement  and  delight  he  found 


her,  on  ascending  to  her  chamber,  quite  well.  She 
recovered  perfectly,  and  not  till  thirty-five  years 
after  did  he  attend  her  earthly  tabernacle  to  its 
final  resting  place." 

And  now  we  come  to  the  testimony  of  that  most 
illustrious  band  of  Christian  worthies,  the  Scotch 
Covenanters.  Illustrious,  we  said,  and  yet  with  | 
light  altogether  ancient,  apostolic  and  strange  to 
our  modern  age.  Let  one  read  that  book  of  thril- 
ling religious  adventure  and  heroic  faith,  "  The 
Scots  Worthies"  and  he  will  almost  seem  to  be 
perusing  the  acts  of  the  apostles  reacted.  Such 
sterling  fortitude  ;  such  mighty  prayers  ;  such  con 
quests  of  preaching  and  intercession !  Howie,  its 
author,  seems  to  have  had  in  mind  especially,  in 
writing  it,  the  rebuke  it  would  bring  to  a  later, 
faithless  and  degenerate  age,  by  showing,  as  he 
says  in  his  preface,  "how  at  the  peril  of  their 
lives  they  brought  Christ  into  our  hands,"  and 
"  how  quickly  their  offspring  are  gone  out  of  the 
way  piping  and  dancing  after  a  golden  calf."  Nor 
did  he  think  such  a  luxurious  and  unbelieving  gen- 
eration would  be  able  to  credit  these  mighty  deeds 
of  their  fathers.  For  he  continues  :  "  Some  may 
be  ready  to  object  that  many  things  related  in  this 
collection  smell  too  much  of  enthusiasm  ;  and  that 


other  things  are  beyond  all  credit.  But  these  we 
must  suppose  t<  be  either  quite  ignorant  of  what 
the  Lord  did  for  our  forefathers  in  former  times, 
or  else,  in  a  great  measure,  destitute  of  the  like 
gracious  influences  of  the  Spirit  by  which  they 
were  actuated  and  sustained."  If  we  are  inclined 
to  discredit  the  marvels  of  divine  interposition 
recorded  in  this  book,  we  have  to  remember  that 
the  men  who  relate  them,  and  of  whom  they  are 
related,  are  the  historic  characters  of  the  Scottish 
Kirk;  Knox,  Wishart,  Livingston,  Welch,  Baillie, 
?eden  and  Craig.  We  never  tire  of  repeating  the 
great  and  holy  things  which  these  men  did  in  other 
fields  of  spiritual  service.  Who  has  not  heard  how 
John  Livingston  preached  with  such  extraordinary 
demonstration  of  the  Spirit  that  five  hundred  souls 
were  quickened  or  converted  under  a  single  ser- 
mon ?  And  what  Christian  has  not  had  his  spirit- 
ual indolence  rebuked  by  reading  of  John  Welch, 
nsing  many  times  in  the  night  to  plead  for  his 
fiock,  and  spending  seven  and  eight  hours  a  day  in 
Gethsemane  intercessions  for  the  Church  and  for 
lost  souls.  These  things  we  have  read  and  repeat- 
ed without  incredulity.  But  how  few  have  read 
or  dared  to  repeat  the  story  of  the  same  John  Welch 


praying  over  the  body  of  a  young  man,  who,  after  a 
long  wasting  sickness,  "  has  closed  his  eyes  and 
expired  to  the  apprehension  of  all  spectators ; " 
how,  in  spite  of  the  remonstrance  of  friends,  he 
held  on  for  three  hours,  twelve  hours,  twenty-five, 
thirty-six,  forty-eight  hours,  and  when  at  last  it  was 
insisted  that  the  "  cold  dead "  body  should  be 
borne  out  to  burial,  how  he  begged  for  an  hour 
more,  and  how,  at  the  end  of  that  time,  he  "  called 
upon  his  friends  and  showed  them  the  dead  young 
man  restored  to  life  again,  to  their  great  astonish- 
ment." All  this  is  told  with  the  utmost  detail  in 
the  book  of  "  Scots  Worthies."  If  we  are  startled 
to  ask  in  amazement  —  as  who  will  not  be  —  "  Are 
such  things  possible  in  modern  times  ?  "  we  might 
better  begin  with  the  question,  has  such  praying 
and  resistless  importunity  with  God  ever  been 
heard  of  in  modern  times?  If  we  can  get  a 
miraculous  faith  the  miraculous  works  will  be  easy 
enough  to  credit.  Yet  this  is  a  specimen  of  the 
men  who  compose  this  extraordinary  group  of 
Christian  heroes. 

The  wonders  recorded  of  them  are  of  every 
kind  —  marvels  of  courage,  marvels  of  faith,  mar- 
vels of  martyrdom,  and  marvels  of  prophetic  fore* 


sight.     Theirs  was  a  faith  born  and  nourished  of 

the  bitterest  persecution.  But  if,  according  to  the 
saying  of  their  biographer,  they  were  "followed 
by  the  prophet's  shadow,  the  hatred  of  wicked 
men,"  it  is  equally  true  that  they  were  crowned 
with  the  apostle's  halo,  the  power  of  the  Holy 

Here  we  read  of  the  holy  Robert  Bruce,  of 
whom  the  beautiful  incident  is  told,  that  once  being 
late  in  appearing  in  his  pulpit  a  messenger  was  sent 
for  him  who  reported  :  "  I  think  he  will  not  come 
to-day,  for  I  overheard  him  say  to  another :  'I protest 
I  will  not  go  unless  thou  goest  with  me*  Howbeit, 
in  a  little  time  he  came,  accompanied  by  no  man 
but  full  of  the  blessing  of  Christ ;  for  his  speech 
was  with  much  evidence  and  demonstration  of  the 
Spirit."  Of  this  man,  mighty  in  pulpit  prayers,  it 
is  affirmed  that  "persons  distracted,  and  those 
who  were  past  recovery  with  falling  sickness,  were 
brought  to  him  and  were,  after  prayer  by  him  on 
their  behalf,  fully  restored  from  their  malady."* 
Also  we  read  of  Patrick  Simpson,  whose  insane 
wife,  from  raving  and  blaspheming  as  with  demon- 
iacal possession,  was  so  wonderfully  healed  by  his 


importunate  prayers  that  the  event  was  found  thus 
gratefully  recorded  upon  some  of  the  books  of  his 
library  :  "  Remember,  O  my  soul,  and  never  forget 
the  16th  of  August,  1601,  what  consolation  the 
Lord  gave  thee,  and  how  he  performed  what  he 
spoke  according  to  Zechariah,  'is  not  this  a  brand 
tlucked  oU  of  the  fire*  "  * 

We  give  verbatim  one  incident  of  healing  as 
recorded  in  this  book,  admonishing  the  reader  that 
this  story,  as  well  as  several  others,  has  been  some- 
what softened  in  later  editions  of  the  work,  with 
the  avowed  purpose  of  making  it  accord  more  ex- 
actly with  modern  religious  sentiments.  It  is  from 
the  life  of  John  Scrimgeour,  minister  of  Kinghorn 
in  Fife,  and  "  an  eminent  wrestler  with  God  :  " 

"Mr.  Scrimgeour  had  several  friends  and  chil- 
dren taken  away  by  death  :  and  his  only  daughter 
who  at  that  time  survived,  and  whom  he  dearly 
loved,  being  seized  with  the  King's  evil,  by  which 
she  was  reduced  to  the  point  of  death,  so  that  he 
was  called  up  to  see  her  die ;  and  finding  her  in 
this  condition  he  went  out  into  the  fields,  (as  he 
himself  told)  in  the  night-time  in  great  grief  and 
anxiety,  and  began  to  expostulate  with  the  Lord, 
with  such  expressions  as  for  all  the  world,  he  durst 
not  again  uttvf.  In  a  fit  of  displeasure  he  said  — 
'thou  O  Lord  know^st  that  I  have  Leen  serving 
thee  in  the  uprightness  of  my  heart  according  t" 


my  power  and  measure :  nor  have  I  stood  in  awe 
to  declare  thy  mind  even  unto  the  greatest  in  the 
time  ;  and  thou  seest  that  I  take  pleasure  in  this 
child.  O  that  I  could  obtain  such  a  thing  at  thy 
hand  as  to  spare  her ! '  and  being  in  great  agony  of 
spirit  at  last  it  was  said  to  him  from  the  Lord  — 
1 1  have  heard  thee  at  this  time,  but  use  not  the 
like  boldness  in  time  coming  for  such  particulais.' 
When  he  came  home  the  child  was  recovered, 
and  sitting  up  in  the  bed  took  some  meat :  and 
when  he  looked  on  her  arm  it  was  perfectly 

Now  when  we  reflect  that  these  things  are  re- 
corded by  the  pen  of  some  of  the  holiest  men  the 
church  of  God  has  ever  seen  :  and  recorded  too  as 
the  experiences  of  their  own  ministry  of  faith  and 
prayer,  the  fact  must  at  least  furnish  food  for  re- 
flection to  those  who  continue  to  assert  with  such 
confident  assurance  that  the  age  of  miracles  is 
past.  Past  it  may  be  indeed,  if  the  age  of  faith  is 
past.  For  that  we  conceive,  to  be  the  real  ques- 
tion. It  is  not  geography  or  chronology  that  de- 
termines the  boundary  lines  of  the  supernatural. 
It  is  apostolic  men  that  make  an  apostolic  age,  not 
a  certain  date  of  Anno  Domini.  We  are  forever 
thinking  to  turn  back  the  shadow  certain  degree? 
upon  the  dial,  to  bring  again  the  age  of  miracles 

*  Edinburgh  Ed.  1812,  p.  89,  #>. 


forgetting  that  he  who  is  "  without  variableness  or 
the  shadow  of  turning"  has  said,  "if  thou  canst 
believe" — not  if  thou  wast  born  in  Palestine  and 
within  the  early  limits  of  the  first  Christian  cen- 
tury— "all  things  are  possible  to  him  that  believeth." 
When  by  the  stress  of  violent  persecution  or  by 
the  sore  discipline  of  reproach  and  rejection  by 
the  world  the  old  faith  is  revived,  then  we  catch 
glimpses  once  more  of  the  apostolic  age.  And 
such  perhaps  beyond  all  others  in  modern  times 
was  the  age  of  the  Covenanters. 

No  one  can  read  this  stirring  narrative  of  their 
sufferings  and  triumphs,  their  martyrdoms  and  mira- 
cles without  a  profound  spiritual  quickening.  There 
is  little  danger  withal  of  the  book  ministering  to 
fanaticism,  for  if  any  one  should  be  inspired  by  it 
with  an  ambition  to  be  a  miracle-worker  he  will 
meet  the  challenge  on  every  page  —  "  Are  ye  able 
to  drink  the  cup  that  I  drink  of,  and  to  be  bap- 
tized with  the  baptism  that  I  am  baptized  with  ?" 

If  we  come  to  the  Huguenots,  those  faithful 
followers  of  the  Lamb,  among  generations  that  were 
so  greedily  and  wantonly  following  the  Dragon,  we 
get  glimpses  of  the  same  wonderful  things.  In 
the  story  of  their  suffering  and  obedience  to  the 


faith  in  the  mountains  of  Cevennes  whither  they 
had  fled  from  their  pursuers  upon  the  revocation  of 
the  edict  of  Nantz,  we  hear  constant  mention  of 
the  exercise  of  miraculous  gifts.  There  were 
divine  healings  and  extraordinary  actings  of  the 
Spirit  in  quickening  and  inspiration.  They  who  in 
their  exile  carried  their  mechanical  arts  and  inven- 
tions into  England  to  the  great  blessing  of  the 
nation,  carried  here  and  there  the  lost  arts  of  su- 
pernatural healing  to  the  wonder  of  the  church  of 

Among  the  early  Friends,  as  is  well  known  the 
same  manifestations  were  constantly  reported. 
Whatever  we  may  think  of  the  general  teaching  of 
this  sect,  no  one  can  read  the  Journal  of  George 
Fox  without  feeling  that  he  was  a  devoted  man  of 
God,  doing  a  wholesome  work  of  quickening  and 
rebuke  in  a  time  of  great  spiritual  deadness  and 
conformity  to  the  world.  His  quaint  prayer  that 
he  "  might  be  baptized  into  a  sense  of  all  conditions" 
seems  to  have  been  literally  fulfilled.  Like  a  latter 
day  apostle  he  went  among  all  ranks,  rebuking  the 
gay  and  worldly,  turning  away  the  wrath  of  those 
at  enmity,  visiting  the  sick  and  ministering  to  the 

*  Morning  Watch,  B.  iv :  p.  383. 


prisoner.  A  worthy  model  is  he  for  any  minister, 
in  any  age  who  would  learn  how  to  labor  "  in  sea- 
son out  of  season"  for  the  Lord. 

Not  only  in  his  teaching  but  especially  in  his 
active  service  does  he  recognize  the  continuous 
operation  of  the  Spirit  in  miraculous  ministries. 
He  records  these  manifestations  without  comment 
as  though  they  were  as  much  a  matter  of  course 
as  conversion  or  regeneration. 

In  a  record  of  evangelizing  in  Twy-cross  in  Lin 

colnshire,  England,  he  says: — 

"  Now  there  was  in  that  town  a  great  man  thai 
had  long  lain  sick  and  was  given  over  by  the  phy- 
sicians :  and  some  friends  in  that  town  desired  me 
to  go  and  see  him,  and  I  went  up  to  him  in  his 
chamber  and  spoke  the  word  of  life  to  him  and  was 
moved  to  pray  for  him,  and  the  Lord  was  entreated 
and  restored  him  to  health."* 

While  preaching  in  Hertfordshire,  they  told  him 

of  a  sick  woman  and  requested  him  to  go  to  her 

help.     He  says  :  — 

"John  Rush  of  Bedfordshire  went  along  with  me 
to  visit  her,  and  when  we  came  in,  there  were  many 
people  in  the  house  that  were  tender  about  her : 
and  they  told  me  she  was  not  a  woman  for  this 
world,  but  if  I  had  anything  to  comfort  her  con- 
cerning the  world  to  come  I  might  speak  to  her. 
So  I  was  moved  of  the  Lord  to  speak  to  her,  and 

•  Journal  B.  i :  p.  ill. 


the  Lord  raised  her  up  again  to  the  astonishment 
of  the  town  and  country.  '* 

This  book  abounds  in  such  instances,  told  with- 
out  ostentation  or  enlargement,  but  almost  always 
alluded  to  as  "  Miracles." 

In  the  earlier  days  of  the  Baptists,  days  of  sim- 
plicity  and  purity,  we  meet  with  similar  illustrations 
of  miraculous  faith  and  manifestation.  As  usual 
it  was  in  times  of  great  straits,  when  the  prison 
doors  were  shut  upon  the  persecuted  flock,  that 
the  windows  of  heaven  were  opened  in  miraculous 

Vavasor  Powell, "the  morning  star  of  the  Welch 
Baptists"  as  he  has  been  named,  has  left  a  clear 
affidavit  to  his  faith  and  practice  on  the  subject 
we  are  considering.  He  was  a  man  of  the  same 
fibre  as  the  Covenanters  ;  endued  with  such  power 
of  the  Spirit  that  extraordinary  revivals  followed 
his  preaching  wherever  he  went.  He  was  also  a 
bitter  sufferer  for  the  faith  having  in  the  course  of 
his  life  lain  in  thirteen  different  prisons  for  his 
testimony  for  Christ. 

Besides  the  uncommon  blessing  which  attended 
his  preaching  it  is  recorded  that  "many  persons 

*  Id.  vol.  t :  p.  a8i. 


were  recovered  from  dangerous  sickness  through 
the  prayer  of  faith  which  he  offered."  He  took 
the  promise  in  James  vth,  literally,  as  shown  in 
the  story  of  his  own  recovery,  and  especially  as  de- 
clared in  the  following  article  of  his  creed  —  "  Vis- 
iting the  sick  and  for  the  elders  to  anoint  them  in 
the  name  of  the  Lord  is  a  gospel  ordinance  and  not 
repealed."*  That  his  creed  was  to  some  extent 
adopted  by  the  English  Baptists  appears  from  the 
account  given  in  the  same  book,  of  the  ceremony 
of  anointing  and  prayer  as  performed  for  a  blind 
woman  at  Aldgate  in  London.  Rev.  Hansard 
Knollys,  and  Rev.  Henry  Jessey,  eminent  names 
in  the  early  ministry  of  the  body,  united  with  oth- 
ers in  the  service,  prayer  being  offered  and  the 
words  pronounced,  "  the  Lord  Jesus  restore  thee 
thy  sight."! 

Among  the  Methodists  we  find  references  here 
and  there  to  the  appearance  of  miraculous  mani- 
festations in  the  churches.  There  is  one  very 
striking  instance  which  is  recorded  of  Ann  Mather, 
daughter  of  Joseph  Benson  the  Methodist  Com- 
mentator, the  story  being  given  in  full  by  the  fa 

•  Ivuny's  History  of  the  Baptists,  pp.  J33. 
t  Idem,  p.  3jj. 


ther  in  his  journal.     She  had  been  afflicted  with 

lameness  in  the  feet,  for  some  years  having  no  use 

of  her  limbs,  and  not  for  a  long  time  having  walked 

a  step.     We  give  the  narrative  in  the  words  of 

Mr.  Benson's  Journal   abridging   in  unimportant 

details :  — 

"Oct.  4th.  This  evening  the  Lord  has  shown 
us  an  extraordinary  instance  of  his  love  and  power. 
My  dear  Ann  yet  remained  without  any  use  of 
either  her  limbs  and  indeed  without  the  least  feel- 
ing of  them,  or  ability  to  walk  a  step,  or  lay  the 
\east  weight  upon  them,  nor  had  she  any  use  of 
them  for  upward  of  twelve  months.  I  was  very 
much  afraid  that  the  sinews  would  be  contracted, 
and  that  she  would  lose  the  use  of  them  forever. 
We  prayed  however,  incessantly,  that  this  might 
not  be  the  case  ;  but  that  it  would  please  the  Lord, 
for  the  sake  of  her  three  little  children,  to  restore 

This  day  a  part  of  my  family  and  some  of  my 
pious  friends  went  to  take  tea  at  her  house ;  Mr. 
Mather  bringing  her  down  in  his  arms  into  the 
dining-room.  After  tea  I  spoke  of  the  certainty 
of  God's  hearing  the  prayer  of  his  faithful  people, 
and  repeated  many  of  his  promises  to  that  pur- 
pose. I  also  enlarged  on  Christ's  being  the  same 
yesterday,  to-day,  and  forever,  and  still  both  able 
and  willing  to  give  relief  to  his  afflicted  people : 
that  though  he  had  doubtless  done  many  of  his 
miracles  of  healing  chiefly  to  prove  himself  to  be 
the  Messiah,  yet  that  he  did  not  do  them  for  that  end 
only,  but  also  to  grant  relief  to  human  misery,  out 


of  his  great  compassion  for  suffering  mankind; 
and  that  not  a  few  of  his  other  miracles  of  mercy 
he  had  wrought  principally  or  only  for  this  latter 
purpose,  and  that  he  was  still  full  of  compassion 
for  the  miserable.  I  then  said,  "Ann,  before  we 
go  to  prayer,  we  will  sing  the  Hymn  which  was 
full  of  consolation  to  your  mother,"  and  I  gave  out 
the  words  of  the  hymn  beginning  :  — 

"  Thy  arm,  Lord,  is  not  shortened  now, 
It  wants  not  now  the  power  to  save ; 
Still  present  with  thy  people,  thou,  etc*' 

After  singing,  we  then  kneeled  down  to  pray, 
and  Ann  took  her  infant  child  to  give  it  the  breast, 
that  it  might  not  disturb  us  with  crying  while  we 
were  engaged  in  prayer.  I  prayed  first,  and  then 
Mr.  McDonald ;  all  the  company  joining  fer- 
vently in  our  supplications.  We  pleaded  in  prayer 
the  Lord's  promises,  and  especially  that  he  has 
said  that  whatever  two  or  three  of  his  people 
should  agree  to  ask,  it  should  be  done  for  them. 
Matt,  xvii:  19.  Immediately  on  our  rising  from 
our  knees,  Ann  beckoned  to  the  nurse  to  take  the 
child,  and  then  instantly  rose  up,  and  said,  "  I  can 
walk,  I  feel  I  can ;  and  proceeded  half  over  the 
room  :  when  her  husband,  afraid  she  should  fall, 
stepped  to  her,  saying,  "  my  dear  Ann,  what  are 
you  about  ? " 

She  put  him  off  with  her  hands,  saying,  "  I  don't 
need  you :  I  can  walk  alone,"  and  then  walked 
three  times  over  the  floor  ;  after  which,  going  to 
a  corner,  she  knelt  down  and  said,  "Oh  let  us  give 
God  thanks  !  "  we  kneeled  down,  and  gave  thanks  ; 
Ann  continuing  on  her  knees  all  the  time,  at  least 
twenty  minutes ;  she  then  came  to  me,  and  with  a 
flood   of    tears  threw  her  arms  about  my   neck, 


and  then  did  the  same  first  to  one  of  her  sisters, 
and  to  the  other,  and  afterwards  to  Mrs.  Dicken- 
son; every  one  in  the  room  shedding  tears  of 
gratitude  and  joy.  She  then  desired  her  husband's 
brother  to  come  up  stairs  ;  and  when  he  entered 
the  room,  she  cried  out,  "  Adam,  I  can  walk ; "  and 
to  show  him  that  she  could,  immediately  walked 
over  the  floor,  and  back  again. 

It  was,  indeed,  the  most  affecting  scene  I  ever 
witnessed  in  my  life.  She  afterward,  without  any 
help,  walked  up  stairs  into  her  lodging  room,  and 
with  her  husband  kneeling  down,  joined  in  prayer 
and  praise. 

In  conversation  with  her  afterward,  I  learned 
from  her  the  following  particulars:  —  that  when 
she  was  brought  into  the  dining-rcom  a  little  stool 
was  put  under  her  feet,  but  which  she  felt  no  more 
than  if  her  feet  had  been  dead.  While  we  were 
singing  the  hymn,  she  conceived  faith  that  the 
Lord  would  heal  her ;  began  to  feel  the  stool,  and 
pushed  it  away ;  then  set  her  feet  on  the  floor, 
and  felt  that;  while  we  prayed  she  felt  a  persuasion 
she  could  walk,  and  felt  inclined  to  rise  up  with 
the  child  in  her  arms ;  but  thinking  to  do  that 
would  be  thought  rash,  she  delayed  till  we  had 
done  praying,  and  then  immediately  rose  up,  and 
walked  as  above  related." 

Among  the  persons  present  who  witnessed  this 
Remarkable  scene  was  Rev.  James  McDonald,  who 
followed  Mr.  Benson  in  prayer  and  was  afterwards 
his  biographer,  and  in  making  reference  to  this  won- 
derful healing  he  says :  "  All  believed  that  the 
power  to  walk,  which  she  received  in  an  instant 


was  communicated  by  an  immediate  act  of  omnip- 
otence." The  account  was  also  published  in  the 
London  Methodist  Magazine,  from  which  this  is 

We  have  thus  set  before  us  as  a  mass  of  evidence 
for  the  continuance  of  miraculous  interventions 
which  few,  we  imagine,  would  wish  to  condemn  as 
utterly  false.  Whatever  deduction  or  allowance 
any  may  wish  to  make,  there  remains  too  solid  a 
substratum  of  well-proven  fact  to  be  easily  set 
aside.  Untimely  —  born  out  of  due  season,  is  the 
objection  which  will  at  once  be  urged  indeed. 
That  is  to  say,  put  the  same  facts  and  the  same 
witnesses  back  into  the  age  of  the  apostles  and 
5iey  can  be  easily  enough  credited,  but  not  as 
speaking  for  modern  times.  But  some  believe  that 
the  church  like  the  tree  of  life  **  whose  leaves  are 
for  the  healing  of  the  nations,"  not  only  bears 
twelve  manner  of  fruits  but  "yields  her  fruit  every 
month."  "All  supernatural  manifestations  deter- 
mined with  apostolic  times  and  apostolic  men  "  — 
so  I  read  from  a  learned  author,  as  I  glanced  for  a 
moment  from  the  page  which  I  was  writing.  Then 
casting  another  glance  through  my  window  I  saw 
a  tree  just  before  me  crowned  with  a  fresh  coat  of 

Of  THE  CHURCH.  85 

green  leaves  and  white  blossoms.  Strange  sight 
to  witness  in  the  month  of  October!  Yet  such 
was  the  season  in  which  it  came  to  pass.  For  it 
had  happened  that  the  canker  worms  had  strip- 
ped the  tree  of  all  its  foliage  and  left  it  bare  and 
naked  ;  but  because  there  was  life  in  its  veins  and 
the  sap  had  not  yet  returned  downward,  it  must 
find  expression,  and  so  even  in  autumn  it  had 
leaved  and  blossomed. 

Alas  that  the  church  should  ever  have  been 
shorn  of  her  primitive  beauty !  But  so  it  was : 
apostacy  succeeding  to  purity,  and  papacy  to  apos- 
tacy,  and  corruption  to  papacy,  and  infidelity  to 
corruption,  till  it  was  literally  as  the  prophet  has 
written :  "  That  which  the  palmer-worm  hath  left 
hath  the  locust  eaten ;  and  that  which  the  locust 
hath  left,  hath  the  canker-worm  eaten,  and  that 
which  the  canker-worm  hath  left,  hath  the  cater- 
pillar eaten."* 

But  because  there  is  life  still  remaining  in  the 
church,  because  the  sap  has  not  utterly  departed 
from  the  tree  of  God,  fresh  shoots  are  constantly 
putting  out  bearing  the  leaves  and  blossoms  of 
primitive  piety,  and    not  less   certainly  the  rich 


fruits  of  miraculous  blessing.  And  so  we  are  per 
suaded  it  shall  be  until  the  end.  For  it  belongs  to 
the  Church  as  the  body  of  Christ  to  do  the  works 
of  Christ  and  it  belongs  to  believers  as  the  habi 
tation  of  the  Spirit  to  manifest  the  gifts  and  fruits 
of  the  Spirit. 


Admitting,  with  the  historians,  that  miracles 
ceased  to  be  recognized  in  the  Church,  as  a  whole, 
after  the  third  century,  there  have  still  continued 
to  be  witnesses  here  and  there  to  their  occurrence 
through  all  the  ages.  We  call  to  the  stand  several 
theologians,  who  have  not  only  defended  the  doc- 
trine of  the  continuance  of  miracles,  but  have 
cited  illustrations  of  what  they  regarded  as  credi- 
ble instances  in  support  of  their  theory. 

Augustine,  it  has  been  claimed,  denied  the  exist- 
ence of  miraculous  interpositions  in  his  day  ;  and  he 
certainly  said  some  things  that  give  occasion  for  that 
opinion.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  he  has  left  on 
record  what  cannot  but  be  regarded  as  the  strong- 
est testimony  to  their  continuance  in  his  genera- 
tion. Archbishop  Trench  considers  that  the  true 
solution  of  this  seeming  contradiction  is,  that  he 
held  to  their  cessation  in  his  earlier  writings,  and, 
changing  his   opinion,   maintained  their  continu- 


ance  in  his  later.*  If  this  be  so,  we  must  take 
the  last  opinion  as  his  true  conviction,  not  that 
which  he  had  retracted.  How  decidedly,  indeed, 
he  commits  himself  to  the  doctrine  of  the  perpet- 
uity of  miracles  will  appear  if  we  read  the  heading 
of  one  of  the  chapters  of  the  De  Civitate  Dei  : 
"  Concerning  the  miracles  which  were  wrought  in 
order  that  the  world  might  believe  in  Christ  and 
which  cease  not  to  be  wrought  now  that  the  world 
does  believe."  He  lived  in  a  time,  indeed,  when 
the  shadows  of  superstition  had  already  begun  to 
creep  over  the  Church,  and  the  records  of  miracles 
which  he  makes  are  occasionally  marred  by  some 
trace  of  such  superstition  : 

"  For  even  now,  he  says,  "  miracles  are  wrought 
in  his  name  whether  by  the  sacraments,  or  by 
prayers,  or  at  the  tombs  of  the  saints.  But 
they  are  not  proclaimed  with  the  same  renown,  so 
as  to  be  spread  abroad  with  the  former.  For  the 
sacred  volume  which  was  to  be  made  known  on  all 
sides  caused  the  former  to  be  told  everywhere  and 
to  hold  their  place  in  all  men's  memories  ;  but  the 
latter  are  known  of  scarcely  beyond  the  whole  city 

•"In  an  early  work,  De  Vera  Religion*  xxv.  47,  he  denies  their  continuance, 
while  in  hi*  Retraction*  he  withdraw*  thu  statement,  or  limits  it  to  such  miracle* 
as  those  that  accompanied  baptism  at  the  first.  In  De  Civ.  Dei.  xxii.  8,  he 
enumerates  at  great  length  miracles,  chiefly  those  of  healing,  which  he  believed 
to  have  been  wrought  in  his  own  time,  and  coming  mora  or  lea*  within  bis  own 
knowledge"  Trench ;  Note*  00  the  Mirads«,  p.  •» 


or  neighborhood  where  they  may  happen  to  be 
wrought."  * 

In  the  same  chapter  he  goes  on  to  give  instances 
to  corroborate  this  assertion.  We  reproduce  one, 
abridging  the  narrative,  which  is  very  extended, 
but  retaining  the  essential  points.  The  story  is 
exceedingly  natural  and  affecting.  It  is  concern- 
ing Innocentius,  a  devout  Christian,  and  a  man  of 
high  rank  in  Carthage.  He  was  suffering  from  a 
painful  malady,  and  had  submitted  to  several  sur- 
gical operations  for  its  removal,  but  without  effect. 
An  eminent  surgeon,  Alexandrinus  by  name,  being 
summoned,  declared  that  there  was  no  hope  except 
possibly  in  another  operation.  This  was  decided 
on,  and  several  officers  of  the  Church  were  with 
him  the  evening  before  his  trial,  of  whom  he  beg. 
ged  that  they  would  be  present  the  next  day  at 
what  he  feared  would  be  his  death.  "Among 
those  present,"  says  Augustine,  "was  Aurelius, 
now  the  only  surviver  and  a  bishop  :  a  man  ever  to 
be  mentioned  with  the  greatest  regard  and  honor, 
with  whom,  in  calling  to  mind  the  wonderful  works 
of  God,  I  have  often  conversed  on  the  occurrence, 
and  I  find  that  he  retains  the  fullest  recollection  of 

Works  v.,  p.  *9? 


what  I  now  relate,"    The  rest  we  give  in  the 

words  of  Augustine : 

"  We  then  went  to  prayer ;  and,  while  we  were 
kneeling  and  prostrating  ourselves,  as  on  other 
occasions,  he  also  prostrated  himself,  as  if  some 
wie  had  forcibly  thrust  him  down,  and  began  to 
pray:  in  what  manner,  with  what  earnestness, 
with  what  emotion,  with  what  a  flood  of  tears, 
with  what  agitation  of  his  whole  body,  I  might 
almost  say  with  what  suspension  of  his  respiration, 
by  his  groans  and  sobs,  who  shall  attempt  to 
describe  ?  Whether  the  rest  of  the  party  were  so 
little  affected  as  to  be  able  to  pray  I  knew  not. 
For  my  part  I  could  not.  This,  alone,  inwardly 
and  briefly,  I  said  :  '  Lord,  what  prayers  of  thine 
own  children  wilt  thou  ever  grant  if  thou  grant  not 
these  f '  For  nothing  seemed  more  possible  but 
that  he  should  die  praying.  We  arose,  and,  after 
the  benediction  by  the  bishop,  left  him,  but  not 
till  he  had  besought  them  to  be  with  him  in  the 
morning,  nor  till  they  had  exhorted  him  to  calm- 
ness. The  dreaded  day  arrived,  and  the  servants 
of  God  attended  as  they  had  promised.  The 
medical  men  made  their  appearance ;  all  things 
required  for  such  an  occasion  are  got  ready,  and, 
amidst  the  terror  and  suspense  of  all  present,  the 
dreadful  instruments  are  brought  out.  In  the 
meantime,  while  those  of  the  bystanders  whose 
authority  was  the  greatest,  endeavored  to  support 
the  courage  of  the  patient  by  words  of  comfort, 
he  is  placed  in  a  convenient  position  for  the  oper- 
ation, the  dressings  are  opened,  the  seat  of  the 
disease  is  exposed,  the  surgeon  inspects  it,  and 
tries  to  find  the  part  to  be  operated  upon  with  his 


instrument  in  his  hand.  He  first  looks  for  it,  then 
examines  by  the  touch  ;  in  a  word,  he  makes  every 
possible  trial,  and  finds  the  place  perfectly  healed. 
The  gladness,  the  praise,  the  thanksgiving  to  a  com- 
passionate and  all  powerful  God,  which,  with  min- 
gled joy  and  tears,  now  burst  from  the  lips  of  all 
present,  cannot  be  told  by  me.  The  scene  may 
more  easily  be  imagined  than  described." 

It  will  be  seen,  on  careful  reading,  that  aside 
from  the  testimony  of  the  writer  himself,  there  is 
everything  in  this  story  to  indicate  the  genuine- 
ness and  authenticity  of  the  miracle.  Its  detailed 
narration  shows  how  unquestionably  the  writer 
believes  in  healing  through  the  prayer  of  faith. 

Martin  Luther,  "  whose  prose  is  a  half  battle," 
would  be  likely  to  speak  strongly  on  this  subject 
if  he  spoke  at  all.  Martin  Luther,  whose  prayers 
were  victorious  battles,  so  that  they  who  knew 
him  were  wont  to  speak  of  him  as  "  the  man  who 
can  have  whatever  he  wishes  of  God,"  would  be 
likely  to  plead  efficaciously  in  this  field  if  he  en- 
tered it  at  all.  And  so  he  did.  The  testimony  of 
Luther's  prayers  for  the  healing  of  the  body  are 
among  the  strongest  of  any  on  record  in  modern 
times.  He  has  been  quoted,  indeed,  as  disparag- 
ing miracles.     And  the  explanation   of  this  fact 


is  perfectly  easy  for  those  who  have  investigated 
his  real  opinions.  Like  the  other  reformers  —  like 
Huss  and  Latimer,  for  example,  he  revolted  vio- 
lently from  the  impudent  Romish  miracles  which 
in  his  day  put  forth  their  claims  on  every  side. 
This  frequently  led  him  to  speak  in  very  contempt- 
uous terms  of  modern  signs  and  wonder-working. 
And  it  is  not  strange  that  some,  lighting  on  these 
utterances,  should  have  concluded  that  he  denied 
all  supernatural  interventions  in  modern  times. 
But  if  we  turn  from  Luther  the  controversialist  to 
Luther  the  pastor,  we  find  a  man  who  believed  and 
spoke  with  all  the  vehemence  of  his  Saxon  heart 
on  the  side  of  present  miracles.  "  How  often  has 
it  happened  and  still  does,"  he  says,  "  that  devils 
have  been  driven  out  in  the  name  of  Christ,  also 
by  calling  on  his  name  and  prayer  that  the  sick 
have  been  healed  ?  "  And  he  suited  his  action  to 
his  words  on  this  point ;  for  when  they  brought  him 
a  girl  saying  that  she  was  possessed  with  a  devil 
Luther  laid  his  hand  on  her  head,  appealed  to  the 
Lord's  promise :  "  He  that  believeth  on  me  the 
works  I  do  shall  he  do  also,  and  greater  works  than 
these  shall  he  do,"  and  then  prayed  to  God,  with 
the  rest  of  the  ministers  of  the  Church,  that,  fa 


Christ's  sake,  he  would  cast  the  devil  out  of  this 
girl.*  Perfect  recovery  is  recorded  in  this  instance 
as  well  as  in  several  others  where  he  prayed  for 
the  sick. 

The  most  notable  instance  is  that  of  Philip 
Melancthon.  An  account  of  this  recovery,  which 
seems  to  be  trustworthy,  is  given  by  the  historian 
to  whom  we  have  just  referred.  Melancthon  had 
fallen  ill  on  a  journey,  and  a  messenger  had  been 
despatched  to  Luther.     The  story  continues  : 

"  Luther  arrived  and  found  Philip  about  to  give 
up  the  ghost.  His  eyes  were  set ;  his  conscious- 
ness was  almost  gone  ;  his  speech  had  failed,  and 
also  his  hearing ;  his  face  had  fallen  ;  he  knew  no 
one,  and  had  ceased  to  take  either  solids  or  liquids. 
At  this  spectacle  Luther  is  filled  with  the  utmost 
consternation,  and  turning  to  his  fellow  travellers 
says  :  '  Blessed  Lord,  how  has  the  devil  spoiled  me 
of  this  instrument ! '  Then  turning  away  towards 
the  window  he  called  most  devoutly  on  God." 

Then  follows  the  substance  of  Luther's  prayer  : 

"  He  beseeches  God  to  forbear,  saying  that  he 
has  struck  work  in  order  to  urge  upon  him  in  sup- 
plication, with  all  the  promises  he  can  repeat  from 
scripture  :  that  he  must  hear  and  answer  now  if 
he  would  ever  have  the  petitioner  trust  in  him 

Seckendorf's  History  of  Lutheranism,  B.  nt.  p.  133. 


The  narrative  goes  on : 

"  After  this,  taking  the  hand  of  Philip,  and  well 
knowing  what  was  the  anxiety  of  his  heart  and 
conscience,  he  said  *  Be  of  good  courage,  Philip, 
thou  shalt  not  die.  Though  God  wanted  not  good 
reason  to  slay  thee,  yet  he  willeth  not  the  death  of 
a  sinner,  but  that  he  may  be  converted  and  live. 
Wherefore,  give  not  place  to  the  spirit  of  grief,  nor 
become  the  slayer  of  thyself,  but  trust  in  the  Lord 
who  is  able  to  kill  and  to  make  alive.'  While  he 
uttered  these  things  Philip  began,  as  it  were,  to 
revive  and  to  breathe,  and  gradually  recovering 
his  strength,  is  at  last  restored  to  health." 

If  the  reader  should  conclude  hastily  that  this 
recovery  may  be  accounted  for  on  entirely  natural 
principles,  we  have  to  remind  him  that  the  convic- 
tion of  both  parties  to  the  transaction  was  quite 

Melancthon  writing  to  a  friend  says  : 

"  I  should  have  been  a  dead  man  had  I  not  been 
recalled  from  death  itself  by  the  coming  of Luther. " 

Luther  speaks  in  the  same  manner  writing  to 

friends  : 

"  Philip  is  very  well  after  such  an  illness,  for  it 
was  greater  than  I  had  supposed.  I  found  him  dead, 
but,  by  an  evident  miracle  of  God,  he  lives" 

Again,  referring  to  his  attendance  at  the  diet,  he 

says  : 

"  Toil  and  labor  have  been  lost,  and  money  spent 


to  no  purpose ;  nevertheless,  though  I  have  suc- 
ceeded in  nothing,  yet  If  etched  back  Philip  out  of 
/fades,  and  intend  to  bring  him  now,  rescued  from 
the  grave,  home  again  with  joy,  &c." 

Such  is  the  witness  of  the  great  reformer,  and, 
if  needful,  it  might  be  strengthened  by  reference 
to  other  remarkable  instances  of  his  power  in 
prayer  for  the  sick. 

That  of  Myconius  is  well  known,  who  wrote 
of  himself:  "Raised  up  in  the  year  1541  by  the 
mandates,  prayers  and  letter  of  the  reverend  Father, 
Luther,  from  death." 

Luthardt  furnishes  this  version  of  the  event : 

"Myconius,  the  venerated  superintendent  of 
Gotha,  was  in  the  last  stage  of  consumption,  and 
already  speechless.  Luther  wrote  to  him  that  he 
must  not  die  :  '  May  God  not  let  me  hear  so  long 
as  I  live  that  you  are  dead,  but  cause  you  to 
survive  me.  I  pray  this  earnestly,  and  will 
have  it  granted,  and  my  will  will  be  grant- 
ed herein,  Amen.'  'I  was  so  horrified,'  said 
Myconius,  afterwards,  '  when  I  read  what  the  good 
man  had  written,  that  it  seemed  to  me  as  though 
I  had  heard  Christ  say,  '  Lazarus  come  forth.' 
And  from  that  time  Myconius  was,  as  it  were, 
kept  from  the  grave  by  the  power  of  Luther's 
prayers,  and  did  not  die  till  after  Luther's  death."  * 

The  stout  lion  heart  of  the  Reformer  revolted 

against  the  grotesque  miracles  of  Anti-christ ;  but 

*  Lathardt  Moral  Truths  of  Christianity,  p.  2g& 


the  beKeving    heart  of  the  Christian  took  the  pro 

mises  of  God,  and  pleaded  them  and  proved  them  ; 

and  he  gained  what  he  regarded  as  the  greatest  oi 

conquests  :  that  of  having  demonstrated  scripture, 

so  as  to  be  able  to  say  of  one  text  in  the  Bible : 

"  This  I  know  for  certain  to  be  true** 

Richard  Baxter  will  be  listened  to  with  especial 

deference  on  the  question  before  us.     He  was  so 

bold  in  uttering  his  convictions  that  Boyle  said  of 

him  that   "  he   feared  no  man's  displeasure,  nor 

hoped  for  any  man's  preferment;"  and  he  was  also 

so  devout  that  Joseph  Alleine  was  accustomed  to 

preface  his  quotations  from  him  with  the  words 

"As  most  divinely  saith  that  man  of  God,  holy 

Mr.  Baxter."     He  wrote  very  decidedly  in  defence 

of    present   miraculous    interpositions    for    God's 

faithful.     Speaking  of  what   he   calls     "  eminent 

providences,"  he  says : 

"  I  am  persuaded  that  there  is  scarcely  a  godly 
experienced  Christian  that  carefully  observes  and 
faithfully  recordeth  God's  providence  toward  him 
but  is  able  to  bring  forth  some  such  experiment, 
and  to  shew  you  some  strange  and  unusual  mercies 
which  may  plainly  discover  an  Almighty  disposer, 
making  good  the  promises  of  this  scripture  to 
his  servants;  some  in  desperate  diseases  of  body; 
some  in  other  apparent  dangers  delivered  so  sud- 
denly or  so  much  against  the  common  course  of 


nature  when  all  the  best  remedies  have  failed,  that 
no  second  cause  could  have  any  hand  in  their 
deliverance."  * 

After  referring  to  some  remarkable  instances  in 

the  lives  of  the  reformers  he  says  ; 

"  But  why  need  I  fetch  examples  so  far  off  P  or 
to  recite  the  multitude  of  them  which  Church  his 
tory  doth  afford  us  ?  Is  there  ever  a  praying 
Christian  here  who  knoweth  what  it  is  importu- 
nately to  strive  with  God,  and  to  plead  his  promises 
with  him  believingly,  that  cannot  give  in  his  ex- 
periences of  most  remarkable  answers  ?  /  know 
metis  atheism  and  infidelity  will  never  want  some- 
what to  say  against  the  most  eminent  providences, 
though  they  were  miracles  themselves.  That  na- 
ture which  is  so  ignorant  of  God,  and  at  emnity 
with  him,  will  not  acknowledge  him  in  his  clear 
discoveries  to  the  world,  but  will  ascribe  all  to  for- 
tune or  nature,  or  some  such  idol,  which,  indeed, 
is  nothing.  But  when  mercies  are  granted  in  the 
very  time  of  prayer,  and  that  when  to  reason  there 
is  no  hope,  and  that  without  the  use  or  help  of  any 
other  means  or  creature,  yea,  and  perhaps  many 
times  over  and  over  ;  is  not  this  as  plain  as  if  God 
from  heaven  should  say  to  us,  /  am  fulfilling  to 
thee  the  true  word  of  my  promise  in  Christ  my 
Sonne  ?  How  many  times  have  I  known  the  pray ef 
of  faith  to  save  the  sick  when  all  physicians  have 
given  them  up  as  dead."  (Here  Baxter  subjoins  a 
note  to  be  given  presently.)  "  It  has  been  my  own 
case  more  than  once  or  twice  or  ten  times,  when 
means  have  all  failed,  and  the  highest  art  of  rea- 

*  Saint's  Rest,  Part  11.  chap.  vi.    Sec.  V. 


son  has  sentenced  me  hopeless,  yet  have  I  been  re- 
lieved  by  the  prevalency  of  fervent  prayer,  and  that 
(as  the  physician  saith  "tuto,  cito,  et  jucunde," 
my  flesh  and  my  heart  failed,  but  God  is  the 
strength  of  my  heart  and  my  portion  for  ever.) 
And  though  he  yet  keep  me  under  necessary  weak- 
ness, and  wholesome  sickness,  and  certain  expecta- 
tion of  further  necessities,  and  assaults,  yet  am  I 
constrained  by  most  convincing  experiences,  to  set 
up  this  stone  of  remembrance,  and  publickly  to 
the  praise  of  the  Almighty,  to  acknowledge  that 
certainly  God  is  true  of  his  promises,  and  that  they 
are  indeed  his  own  infallible  word,  and  that  it  is 
a  most  excellent  privilege  to  have  interest  in  God, 
and  a  Spirit  of  supplication  to  be  importunate  with 
him.  I  doubt  not  but  most  Christians  that  observe 
the  Spirit  and  providences  are  able  to  attest  this 
prevalency  of  prayer  by  their  own  experiences."  * 

He  then  gives  a  detailed  account  of  his  own  re- 
markable healing  which  we  quote  in  full. 

"Among  abundance  of  instances  that  I  could 
give,  my  conscience  commandeth  me  here  to  give 
you  this  one,  as  belonging  to  the  very  words  here 
written.  I  had  a  tumor  rise  on  one  of  the  tonsils 
or  almonds  of  my  throat,  round  like  a  pease,  and 
at  first  no  bigger;  and  at  last  no  bigger  than  a 
small  button,  and  hard  like  a  bone.  The  fear  lest 
it  should  prove  a  cancer  troubled  me  more  than  the 
thing  itself.  I  used  first  dissolving  medicines,  and 
after  lenient  for  palliation,  and  all  in  vain  for  about 
a  quarter  of  a  year.  At  last  my  conscience  smote 
vw  for  silencing  so  many  former  deliverances,  tJiat  1 



had  had  in  answer  of  prayers  ;  merely  in  pride,  lest 
I  should  be  derided  as  making  ostentation  of  God's 
special  mercies  to  myself,  as  if  I  were  a  special 
favorite  of  heaven,  I  had  made  no  public  mention 
of  them :  I  was  that  morning  to  preach  just  what 
is  here  written,  and  in  obedience  to  my  conscience, 
I  spoke  these  words  which  are  now  in  this  page, 
viz  :  "  how  many  times  have  I  known  the  prayer  of 
faith  to  save  the  sick  when  all  physicians  have  given 
them  up  as  dead"  —  with  some  enlargements  not 
here  written.  When  I  went  to  church  I  had  my 
tumor  as  before,  (for  I  frequently  saw  it  in  the 
glasse,  and  felt  it  constantly.)  As  soon  as  I  had 
done  preaching,  I  felt  it  was  gone,  and  hasting  to 
the  glasse,  I  saw  that  there  was  not  the  least 
vestigium  or  cicatrix,  or  mark  wherever  it  had 
been  :  nor  did  I  at  all  discern  what  became  of  it. 
I  am  sure  I  neither  swallowed  it  nor  spit  it  out, 
and  it  was  unlikely  to  dissolve  by  any  natural 
cause,  that  had  been  hard  like  a  bone  a  quarter  of 
a  year,  notwithstanding  all  dissolving  gargarismes. 
I  thought  fit  to  mention  this,  because  it  was  done 
just  as  I  spoke  the  words  here  written  in  this  page. 
Many  such  marvellous  mercies  I  have  received, 
and  known  that  others  have  received  in  answer 
to  prayers."* 

At  once  we  imagine  the  explanations  which  will 

be  given  to  this  artlessly  narrated  incident.     We 

do  not  vouch  for  its  supernatural  character.     We 

have  introduced  it   simply  to  show  that  Richard 

Baxter  believed  in  modern  miracles  of  healing,  and 

there  we  leave  it.    It  is  not  the  authenticity  of  the 



wonder  but  the  opinion  of  the  man  which  we  wish 
now  to  establish.  That  must  be  considered  un- 

John  Albert  Bengel  is  not  only  greatly  esteemed 
but  held  in  real  affection  by  lovers  of  God's  word 
who  have  studied  his  commentary.  He  expounds 
pithily,  but  what  is  far  better  he  believes  intensely. 
"  His  works,"  says  Dorner/'were  the  first  cockcrow- 
ing  of  that  new  kind  of  exegesis  which  the  Church 
so  much  needed."  His  is  pre-eminently  the  exe- 
gesis of  faith  in  distinction  from  the  exegesis  of  rea- 
son. If  he  finds  things  in  the  Bible  too  hard  for 
his  critical  faculty  he  finds  nothing  too  hard  for  his 
believing  faculty.  Hence  his  interpretations  are 
not  a  sizing  and  sorting  of  scripture  to  the  dimen- 
sions of  human  experience,  but  a  frank  acceptance 
of  it  as  God's  truth.  The  word  never  appears 
shrunken  as  it  comes  forth  from  his  hand ;  it  does 
not  present  a  scant  weight  as  though  it  had  paid  toll 
to  modem  doubt.  "Faith  takes  up  all  she  can  get  and 
marches  bravely  onward"  is  a  saying  of  his  that 
describes  better  than  any  other  his  conduct  in 
handling  scripture.  Now  by  faith  Bengel  staggered 
not  at  the  promise  of  miraculous  healing,  which  he 
found  in  the  New  Testament,  but  believed  it,  and 


confessed  it,  and  rejoiced  in  it.     In  speaking  of 
the  gift  of  healing  he  says :  — 

"  It  seems  to  have  been  given  by  God  that  it 
might  always  remain  in  the  Church  as  a  specimen 
of  the  other  gifts :  Just  as  the  portion  of  manna 
betokened  the  ancient  miracles."*  "O  happy  sim- 
plicity !  interrupted  or  lost  through  unbelief,"  he 
exclaims.  And  yet  he  declares,  "  even  in  our  day 
faith  has  in  every  believer  a  hidden  miraculous 
power.  Every  result  of  prayer  is  really  miraculous 
even  though  this  be  not  apparent;  although  in 
many,  because  of  their  own  weakness  and  the 
world's  unworthiness,  —  not  merely  because  the 
church  once  planted  needs  not  miracles  (though  no 
doubt  the  early  New  Testament  miracles  have 
made  for  the  Lord  an  everlasting  name)  —  that 
power  does  not  exert  itself  in  our  day.  Signs  were 
in  the  beginning  the  props  of  faith :  now  they  are 
the  object  of  faith."f 

And  then,  for  confirming  his  assertions  of  his 
belief  in  the  possibility  of  modern  miracles,  he  in- 
troduces the  following  instance  : 

"At  Leonberg  a  town  of  Wirtembergh,  a.  d. 
1644,  thirteenth  Sunday  after  Trinity,  a  girl  of 
twenty-three  years  of  age,  was  so  disabled  in  her 
limbs  as  hardly  to  be  able  to  creep  along  by  the 
help  of  crutches.  But  whilst  the  Dean,  Raumier 
was  his  name,  was  from  the  pulpit  dwelling  on  the 
miraculous  power  of  Jesu's  name  she  suddenly  was 
raised  up  and  restored  to  the  use  of  her  limbs." 

*  Comment  on  James  v.  17. 
t  On  Mark  16:  14. 


This  story  the  American  editor  omits  as  though 
solicitous  for  the  critics  reputation;  but  Faucett 
the  English  translator  retains  it  in  its  place,  and 
adds  from  information  gathered  from  other  sources 
that  "  this,  happened  in  the  presence  of  the  Duke 
of  Eberhard,  and  his  courtiers  and  was  committed 
to  the  public  records  which  are  above  all  suspicion/' 

Edward  Irving  is  another  illustrious  confessor 
bearing  witness  to  the  doctrine  we  are  defending. 
A  man  of  wonderful  endowments,*  his  highest  gift 
seems  to  have  been  that  of  faith.  He  believed, 
with  the  whole  strength  and  intensity  of  his  na- 
ture, everything  which  he  found  written  in  the 
Scriptures.  Cast  upon  times  of  great  spiritual  dead- 
>}S4  he  longed  to  see  Christendom  mightily  revived, 
•did  he  conceived  that  this  could  only  be  effected 
by  stirring  up  the  Church  to  recover  her  forfeited 
endowments.  "To  restore  is  to  revive,"  was  em- 
phatically his  motto.  He  gave  great  offence  by 
his  utterances  and  had  his  name  cast  out  as  evil. 
He  was  accused  of  offering  strange  fire  upon  the 
altar  of  his  Church,  because  he  thought  to  relight 

* "  But  I  hold,  withal  and  not  the  less  firmly  for  these  discrepancies  in  our 
moods  and  judgments,  that  Edward  Irving  possesses  more  of  the  spirit  and  pur- 
pose of  the  first  Reformers,  that  he  lias  more  of  the  head  and  heart,  the  lit*  and 
unction  and  the  genial  power  of  Martin  Luther,  than  any  man  now  alive :  yea, 
than  any  man  of  this  or  the  last  century.  I  see  in  Edward  Irving  a  minister  of 
Christ  after  the  order  of  Paul"    Coleridge  ;  works  v.  vi,  p.  115. 


the  fire  of  Pentecost.  Need  enough  was  there  of 
restoration,  when  teachers  had  so  far  made  void  the 
word  of  God  by  their  traditions  that  in  their  dis- 
cussion with  him  they  openly  appealed  from  the 
Bible  to  the  standards.  Have  you  never  read  what 
Jehoiakim  the  son  of  Judah  did  with  his  pen-knife 
upon  the  prophet's  roll  ?  —  How  "it  came  to  pass 
that  when  Jehudi  had  reswi  three  or  four  leaves, 
he  cut  it  with  his  penknife  and  cast  it  into  the 
fire  !  "  Alas!  that  modern  theology  should  have 
given  occasion  to  be  accused  of  doing  likewise 
with  the  xiith  of  1.  Corinthians  and  sundry  other 
parts  of  scripture  that  tell  about  "  to  another  the 
gift  of  healing  by  the  same  Spirit,  and  another  the 
working  of  miracles,  to  another  prophecy,"  etc. 

Irving,  with  a  zeal  for  the  Lord  not  always  tem- 
perate, accused  the  Church  of  having  clipped  out 
these  portions  from  the  scripture  with  her  exe- 
getical  penknife,  because  she  had  said  "these 
things  do  not  pertain  to  the  Church  of  to-day." 
And  he  went  farther — "the  Lord  commanded 
Jeremiah  to  take  another  roll  and  to  write  in  it 
all  the  former  words  that  were  in  the  first  roll 
which  Jehoiakim  the  son  of  Judah  had  burned." 
And  Irving  conceived  that  he  had  a  similar  com- 


mission  or  at  least  permission,  —  not  to  make  any 
new  revelation,  as  he  was  accused,  —  but  to  retrace 
the  faded  lines  of  the  old,  wherein  it  spoke  of 
"spiritual  gifts  :"  and  so  he  encouraged  his  flock 
to  seek  for,  and  if  the  Lord  should  permit,  to  ex- 
ercise the  gifts  of  prophecy  and  of  healing.  This 
was  his  chief  affront,  and  that  which  brought  his 
splendid  career  under  an  eclipse,  —  a  result  inevi- 
table indeed  considering  that  he  was  to  be  judged 
by  those  who  knew  no  distinction  between  innova- 
tion and  renovation. 

But  bating  any  extravagances  into  which  he  may 
have  fallen,  we  confess  that  our  heart  has  always 
gone  out  to  him  in  reverence  for  his  heroic  fidelity 
to  the  word  of  God,  and  his  willingness,  in  allegi- 
ance to  that  word,  to  follow  Christ  "  without  the 
camp  bearing  the  reproach."  And  we  believe  that 
when  the  Master  shall  come  to  recompense  his 
servants,  this  one  will  attain  a  high  reward  and 
receive  of  the  Lord  double  for  the  broken  heart 
with  which  he  went  down  to  his  grave. 

Irving  wrote  upon  this  subject  with  his  usual 
masterly  ability.  Considering  the  Church  to  be 
"the  Body  of  Christ,"  and  the  endowment  of  the 
Church  to  be  "  the  fulness  of  him  that  filleth  all 


in  all,"  he  held  that  the  Church  ought  to  exhibit 
In  every  age  something  of  that  miraculous  power 
which  belongs  to  the  Head.  That  as  she  endures 
hardness  and  humiliation  as  united  to  him  who  was 
on  the  cross,  so  she  should  exhibit  something  of 
supernatural  energy  as  united  with  him  who  is  on 
the  throne.  This  he  conceived  to  be  essential  for 
the  Church's  full  witness  to  Christ  —  to  him  "who 
is  now  creation's  sceptre-bearer  as  he  was  hereto- 
fore creation's  burden-bearer." 

He  lamented  that  the  Church  in  her  working 
has  descended  so  much  to  the  plane  of  the  merely 
natural,  that  in  preaching,  the  arts  of  the  logician 
and  the  rhetorician  have  so  far  supplanted  the  gifts 
of  the  Spirit.  "The  power  of  miracles  must  either 
be  speedily  revived  in  the  Church "  he  says, 
"or  there  will  be  a  universal  dominion  of  the  me- 
chanical philosophy,  and  faith  will  be  fairly  ex- 
pelled to  give  place  to  the  law  of  cause  and  effect 
acting  and  ruling  in  the  world  of  mind  as  it  doth 
in  the  world  of  sense."* 

He  considered  miracles  to  be  intended  not  only 
for  a  perpetual  demonstration  of  Christ's  power  as 
bow  living  and  glorified,  but  also  as  a  visible  fore- 

*  Works  V.i  479. 


token  of  his  coming  kingdom.  He  has  pointed 
out  with  marked  clearness  the  significance  of  the 
various  signs  promised  in  the  great  commission, 
showing  how  these  were  given  as  first-fruits  of  the 
kingdom  of  God  as  it  shall  appear  in  its  full  con- 
summation. As  that  kingdom  was  always  to  be 
preached,  he  held  that  these  signs  were  promised 
as  the  perpetual  accompaniment  of  that  preaching. 
He  concluded  that  their  withdrawal  is  due  to  the 
Church's  unfaithfulness,  and  not  to  any  revocation 
on  the  part  of  God. 

"These  gifts  have  ceased,  I  would  say,  just  as 
the  verdure  and  leaves  and  flowers  and  fruits  of 
the  spring  and  summer  and  autumn  cease  in  win- 
ter. Because  by  the  chill  and  wintry  blasts  which 
have  blown  over  the  Church,  her  power  to  put 
forth  her  glorious  beauty  hath  been  prevented. 
But  because  the  winter  is  without  a  green  leaf  01 
beautiful  flower  do  men  thereof  argue  that  there 
shall  be  flowers  and  fruits  no  more  ? 

Trusting  in  the  word  of  God,  who  hath  created 
everything  to  produce  and  bring  forth  its  kind, 
man  puts  out  his  hand  in  winter  and  makes  prepa- 
rations for  the  coming  year:  so  if  the  Church  be 
still  in  existence,  and  that  no  one  denies :  and  if  it 
be  the  law  and  end  of  her  being  to  embody  a  first 
fruit  and  earnest  of  the  power  which  Christ  is  to 
put  forth  in  the  redemption  of  all  nature ;  then, 
what  though  she  hath  been  brought  so  low,  her  lite 


is  still  in  her,  and  that  life  will  under  a  more  genial 

day  put  forth  its  native  powers."* 

It  was  from  such  convictions  as  these  that  he 
reasoned  so  powerfully  and  prayed  so  earnestly  for 
the  recovery  by  the  Church  of  her  primitive  gifts. 
If  the  effort  brought  pain  and  persecution  to  him, 
we  believe  it  has  brought  forth  some  very  sweet 
and  genial  fruits  in  others.  He  was  no  mere 
theorist.  He  not  only  exhorted  his  flock  "  to  live 
by  faith  continually  on  Jesus  for  the  body  as  well 
as  the  soul,"  but  he  has  told  us  the  story  of  his 
casting  himself  on  the  Lord  when  mighty  disease 
laid  hold  of  him ;  and  how  his  faith  was  tried  to 
the  last  extremity  till  with  swimming  brain  and 
deathly  sweat  he  stood  holding  on  to  the  sides  of 
the  pulpit,  waiting  for  God  to  fulfil  in  the  eyes  oi 
the  people  his  word  "the  prayer  of  faith  shall  save 
the  sick ; "  and  how  his  Redeemer  at  last  appeared 
for  his  help  and  loosed  for  him  the  bands  of  sick- 
ness enabling  hftn  to  preach  on  that  morning  with 
such  demonstration  and  power  of  the  Spirit  as  he 
had  rarely  known. 

Thomas  Erskine  has  written  on  this  subject  with 
rare  insight  and  depth  of  conviction.     Those  who 

*  The  Church  with  her  Endowment  of  Holiness  and  Power ;    Works,  V.  p. 


have  read  his  writings  know  what  a  subtle  and  in- 
tuitive spiritual  apprehension  he  has.  A  barrister 
by  profession  he  is  far  more  widely  known  as  a 
theologian,  while  he  is  most  deeply  revered  as  a 
Christian,  "who  "  to  use  Dr.  Hanna's  words  in  his 
preface  to  his  letters  "moved  so  lovingly  and  at 
tractively  among  his  fellow-men  and  who  walked 
so  closely  and  constantly  with  God." 

Speaking  of  miraculous  healing  and  the  other 
gifts  he  says  :  — 

"But  I  still  continue  to  think,  that  to  any  one 
whose  expectations  are  formed  by  and  founded  on 
the  New  Testament,  the  disappearance  of  these 
gifts  from  the  Church  must  be  a  far  greater  diffi- 
culty than  their  re-appearance  could  possibly  be."* 

In  his  correspondence  with  Dr.  Chalmers,  when 
the  latter  argued  that  we  ought  not  to  desire  signs 
from  the  Lord,  but  to  be  satisfied  with  the  ordi- 
nary manifestations  of  the  Spirit,  he  replied  that 
we  ought  to  desire  them,  if  God  has  ordained 
them  :  — 

"  If  the  Lord  gives  these  things  as  means,  surely 
it  is  not  genuine  humility  which  says  I  am  satisfied 
without  them.  When  the  Lord  desired  Ahaz  to 
ask  a  sign  he  answered,  '  I  will  not  ask  neither 
will  I  tempt  the  Lord  : '  but  he  is  severely  re- 
buked for  this  apparent  humility."  (Is.  vii:  12,  13.) 

His  strong  conviction  was  that  the  miraculous 

•  Letun  p.  «&. 


gifts  were  designed  to  be  a  permanent  endowment 
of  the  Church  :  — 

"  The  great  and  common  mistake  with  regard  to 
the  gifts  is  that  they  were  intended  merely  to 
authenticate  or  to  witness  to  the  inspiration  of  the 
Canon  of  Scripture,  and  that  therefore  when  the 
Canon  was  completed  they  should  cease :  whereas 
they  were  intended  to  witness  to  the  exaltation  of 
Christ  as  the  head  of  the  body,  the  Church.  Had 
the  faith  of  the  Church,  continued  pure  and  full 
these  gifts  of  the  Spirit  would  never  have  disap- 
peared. There  is  no  revocation  by  Christ  of  that 
word."*   (Mark  xvi :  17,  18.) 

With  such  views  he  watched  with  great  interest 
any  indications  of  a  revival  of  these  gifts,  and  in 
the  movement  in  that  direction  going  on  in  his 
day,  he  believed  he  witnessed  some  genuine  in- 
stances of  miraculous  healing,  as  well  as  of  speak- 
ing with  tongues.  We  refer  to  one  case  mentioned 
in  his  letters: 

"In  March,  1830,  in  the  town  of  Port  Glasgow, 
on  the  Clyde,  lived  a  family  of  MacDonalds,  twin 
brothers,  James  and  George,  with  their  sisters. 
One  of  the  sisters,  Margaret,  of  saintly  life,  lay 
very  ill,  and  apparently  nigh  to  death.  She  had 
received  a  remarkable  baptism  of  the  Spirit  on  her 
sick  bed,  and  had  been  praying  for  her  brothers 
that  they  might  be  anointed  in  like  manner.  One 
day  when  James  was  standing  by,  and  she  was  in- 

*  Brazen  Serpent,  p.  203.    Id.  p.  tg8. 


terceding  that  he  might  at  that  time  be  endowed 
with  the  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  the  Spirit  came 
upon  him  with  marvellous  manifestations.  His 
whole  countenance  was  lighted  up,  and  with  a 
step  and  manner  of  most  indescribable  majesty  he 
walked  up  to  Margaret's  bedside  and  addressed 
her  in  these  words,  'Arise  and  stand  upright.'  He 
repeated  the  words,  took  her  by  the  hand,  and  she 
arose.  Her  recovery  was  instantaneous  and  com- 
plete, and  the  report  of  it  produced  a  profound 
sensation,  and  many  came  from  great  distances  to 
see  her.  Mr.  Erskine  visited  the  house  and  made 
careful  and  prolonged  inquiry  into  the  facts,  and 
put  on  record  his  conviction  of  the  genuiness  of 
the  miracle."* 

His  whole  discussion  of  the  subject  in  the  work 
referred  to,  "  The  Brazen  Serpent,"  is  deeply  in- 
structive, and  especially  his  exposition  of  the  in- 
tention and  significance  of  miracles  of  healing  as 

Dr.  Horace  Bushnell,  in  his  well-known  work 
"Nature  and  the  Supernatural,"  not  only  admits 
the  existence  of  present-day  miracles,  but  con- 
siders that  a  denial  of  their  possibility  would 
imperil  his  whole  argument  for  the  supernatural. 
Conceding  that  the  Church  as  a  whole  has  lost  her 
miraculous  faith,  and  would  be  inclined  to  repel  it 
were  it  offered  to  her,  and  admitting  that  thinking 

*  Letters,  pp.  17*,  182, 183. 


men  are  not  open  to  conviction  on  this  point,  be- 
cause "  the  human  mind,  as  educated  mind  is  just 
now  at  the  point  of  religious  apogee,  where  it  is 
occupied  or  preoccupied  by  nature  and  cannot 
think  it  rational  to  suppose  that  God  does  anything 
longer  which  exceeds  the  causalities  of  nature," 
he  yet  holds  that  among  humble  and  simple 
hearted  believers  "sporadic  cases"  of  miracles 
have  constantly  appeared,  and  continue  to  appear. 
And  not  only  this ;  he  considers  that  in  our  time 
there  are  signs  of  a  revival  of  the  primitive  apos- 
tolic gifts  ;  that  Christians  "  feeling  after  some 
way  out  of  the  dullness  of  second-hand  faith,  and 
the  dryness  of  merely  reasoned  gospel,  are  long- 
ing for  a  kind  of  faith  that  shows  God  in  living 
commerce  with  men  such  as  he  vouchsafed  them 
in  former  times."  "  Probably,  therefore,"  he  con- 
tinues, "  there  may  just  now  be  coming  forth  a 
more  distinct  and  widely  attested  dispensation  of 
gifts  and  miracles  than  has  been  witnessed  for 

Dr.  Bushnell's  testimony  as  a  whole  is  quite 
remarkable,  because  it  is  that  of  a  cultivated  rea- 
soner,  looking  at  the  question  through  the  eyes  of 
logic  as  well  as  through  the  eyes  of  faith-     His 


well  argued  discussion  and  wide  array  of  facts 
ought  at.  least  to  arrest  the  attention  of  the  savans 
who  toss  off  this  subject  with  a  derisive  sneer. 
That  unripe  skepticism,  which  denies  before  it  has 
even  doubted,  has  nowhere  been  more  arrogant 
than  on  this  field.  Presumptious  enough  it  is  to 
attempt  to  pick  a  miracle  to  pieces  with  the  steel 
fingers  of  logic,  but  to  leave  it  cooly  alone  is 
worse.  And  yet  this  is  the  method  which  reason 
has  too  often  taken  with  anything  professedly 
supernatural  in  these  days.  Scientific  reason  and 
Christian  reason  have  passed  by  modern  miracles 
as  poor  relations,  to  be  looked  at  askance  but  not 
to  be  admitted  into  the  best  circles  of  taith  and 
credence.  And  it  is,  therefore,  quite  gratifying  to 
note  the  frank  and  cordial  recognition  which  a 
thinker  like  Dr.  Bushnell  extends  to  them.  Heal- 
ing, prophecy,  and  gifts  of  tongues  he  admits  as 
possible,  and  to  some  extent  operative  to-day  as  in 
the  beginning.  From  a  large  array  of  instances 
adduced  in  his  work  we  give  place  to  but  one,  re- 
ferring the  reader  for  further  information  to  the 
fourteenth  chapter  of  the  work  named,  in  which  he 
discusses  the  proposition  :  "  Miracles  and  super- 
natural gifts  not  discontinued'* 


The  case  cited  is  from  the  experience  of  a  friend 
of  his,  who  had  been  healed  by  prayer  himself, 
and  had,  as  he  believed,  received  the  gift  of  heal- 
ing. He  gives  the  instance  to  Dr.  Bushnell  in 
writing,  and  the  doctor  considers  his  character 
and  veracity  to  be  such  as  to  put  his  story  beyond 
question : 

"  At  length  one  of  his  children,  whom  he  had 
with  him  away  from  home,  was  taken  ill  with  scar- 
let fever.  And  now  the  question  was,"  I  give  his 
own  words,  "  what  was  to  be  done  ?  The  Lord 
had  healed  my  own  sickness,  but  would  he  heal 
my  son  ?  I  conferred  with  a  brother  in  the  Lord, 
who,  having  no  faith  in  Christ's  healing  power, 
urged  me  to  send  instantly  for  the  doctor,  and  I 
dispatched  his  groom  on  horseback  to  fetch  him. 
Before  the  Doctor  arrived  my  mind  was  filled  with 
revelation  on  the  subject.  I  saw  that  I  had  fallen 
into  a  snare  by  turning  away  from  the  Lord's  heal- 
ing hand  to  lean  on  medical  skill.  I  felt  greviously 
condemned  in  my  conscience  ;  a  fear  also  fell  on 
me  that  if  I  persevered  in  my  unbelieving  course 
my  son  would  die,  as  his  oldest  brother  had.  The 
symptoms  in  both  were  precisely  similar.  The 
doctor  arrived.  My  son,  he  said,  was  suffering 
from  a  scarlet  fever,  and  medicine  should  be  sent 
immediately.  While  he  stood,  prescribing,  I  re- 
solved to  withdraw  the  child  and  cast  him  on  the 
Lord.  And  when  he  was  gone  I  called  the  nurse 
and  told  her  to  take  the  child  into  the  nursery,  and 
lay  him  on  the  bed.  I  then  fell  on  my  knees,  con- 
fessing the  sin  I  had  committed  against  the  Lord's 


healing  power.  I  also  prayed  most  earnestly  that 
it  would  please  my  heavenly  Father  to  forgive  my 
sin,  and  to  show  that  he  forgave  it  by  causing  the 
fever  to  be  rebuked.  I  received  a  mighty  convic- 
tion that  my  prayer  was  heard,  and  I  arose  and 
went  to  the  nursery,  at  the  end  of  a  long  passage, 
to  see  what  the  Lord  had  done,  and  on  opening 
the  door,  to  my  astonishment,  the  boy  was  sitting 
up  in  his  bed,  and  on  seeing  me  cried  out,  '  I  am 
quite  well  and  want  to  have  my  dinner.'  In  an 
hour  he  was  dressed,  and  well,  and  eating  his  din- 
ner, and  when  the  physic  arrived  it  was  cast  out  of 
the  window. 

Next  morning  the  doctor  returned,  and  on  meet- 
ing me  at  the  garden  gate  he  said,  *  I  hope  your 
son  is  no  worse  ? "  He  is  very  well,  I  thank  you, 
said  I  in  reply.  'What  can  you  mean?'  rejoined 
the  doctor.  I  will  tell  you  ;  come  in  and  sit  down. 
I  then  told  him  all  that  had  occurred,  at  which  he 
fairly  gasped  with  surprise.  '  May  I  see  your  son,' 
he  asked.  Certainly,  doctor ;  but  I  see  that  you 
do  not  believe  me.  We  proceded  up  stairs,  and 
my  son  was  playing  with  his  brother  on  the  floor. 
The  doctor  felt  his  pulse  and  said,  ■  Yes,  the  fever 
is  gone.'  Finding  also  a  fine,  healthy  surface  on 
his  tongue,  he  added,  'Yes,  he  is  quite  well ;  I  sup- 
pose it  was  the  crisis  of  his  disease."  * 

These  testimonies  might  be  increased  by  the 

addition  of  such  names  as  those  of  Hugh  Grotius, 

the  Dutch  theologian,  and  Lavater,  the  "Fenelon 

of  Switzerland,"  as  he  has  been  called,  and  Hugh 

VlcNeil,  the  eminent  English  evangelical  minister 

Kature  and  tha  Supernatural,  p.  48a 


of  the  last  generation,  and  Thomas  Boys,  M.  A., 
of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge,  England,  and 

But  we  have  not  space  to  refer  to  more.  These 
are  a  goodly  array  of  witnesses  ;  yet  not  because  of 
their  eminence  have  we  summoned  them.  We 
care  little  for  the  testimony  of  a  deep  thinker  ex- 
cept he  has  thought  deeply  and  devoutly  upon  the 
subject  in  hand.  The  shorter  sounding  line,  if  it 
has  dropped  its  lead  to  the  utmost  limit,  has  told 
us  more  of  the  depth  than  the  longer  one  that  re- 
mained coiled  and  dry.  And  so  the  very  mediocre 
theologian  who  has  studied  this  question  to  the 
extent  of  his  capacity  is  a  better  witness  than  the 
most  profound  who  has  never  investigated  it,  but 
has  rested  in  unreasoning  assent  to  what  Dr.  Bush- 
nell  calls  "  the  clumsy  assumption  "  that  all  mira- 
cles closed  with  the  apostolic  age. 

*  The  works  of  Thomas  Boys,  "The  Christian  Dispensation  Miraculous"  and 
"  Proofs  0/  Miraculous  Faith  and  Experience  of  the  Church  in  all  Ages"  are 
full  of  learning  and  information  on  this  whole  subject,  and  this  book  gratefully 
acknowledges  its  indebtedness  to  them  for  several  quotations  and  translations  from 
rare  and  inacessible  works. 



There  is  a  special  and  weighty  reason  why  we 
should  lay  emphasis  on  any  testimonies  on  this 
subject  coming  from  those  who  are  preaching  the 
gospel  among  the  Pagans.  The  rigid  logic  which 
is  supposed  to  fence  out  miracles  from  modern 
Christendom,  does  not  seem  to  have  been  careful 
to  include  heathendom  in  its  prohibition.  For 
when  it  is  said  that  "  miracles  belong  to  the  plant- 
ing of  Christianity  not  to  its  progress  and  develop- 
ment;" it  will  at  once  strike  us  that  missions  are 
practically  the  planting  of  Christianity.  There  is 
really  little  if  any  difference  between  Paul  at 
Melita,  and  Judson  in  India.  In  each  instance  it 
is  the  herald  of  the  Gospel  set  down  among  a  su- 
perstitious and  idolatrous  people.  And  admitting 
the  proposition  just  quoted  to  be  true,  it  would  be 
very  difficult  to  say  why  if  Paul  went  into  the 
house  of  Publius  in  the  one  place  and  laid  his  hands 
on  his  sick  father  and  healed  him,  it  might  not  be 


permitted  Judson  to  go  into  some  home  in  Burmah 
and  do  the  same.  And  if  it  be  said  that  signs  are 
not  needed  while  we  have  the  history  of  the  Chris- 
tian Church,  and  the  influence  of  powerful  Christian 
nations  for  the  authentication  and  enforcement  of 
the  gospel,*  it  must  still  be  remembered  that  these 
forces  are  practically  powerless  until  by  the  plant- 
ing of  Christianity  the  heathen  have  been  made 
acquainted  with  Ecclesiastical  History  and  brought 
in  contact  with  Christian  civilization ;  so  that  the 
argument  comes  back  again  to  this  conclusion  :  — 
that  if  miracles  belong  to  the  planting  of  Christi- 
anity, there  would  be  no  inherent  improbability  of 
their  appearing  on  missionary  fields,  and  among 
those  who  are  engaged  in  introducing  the  Gospel 
into  new  countries.  The  justness  of  this  conclu- 
sion has  been  recognized  by  several  writers. 

-We  are  glad  to  find,  for  example  so  devout  and 
eminent  a  theologian  as  Professor  Christlieb  of 
Bonn  accepting  most  candidly  and  frankly  this 
position.  For  after  admitting  the  force  of  the 
argument  against  miracles  in  Christianized  coun- 
*jies  he  says :  — 

"  Our  age  however  is  still  characterized  by  the 

*See  AHordon  Mark  16 


establishment  of  new  Churches.  The  work  of 
missions  is  outwardly  at  least  more  extended  than 
it  ever  was  before.  In  this  region  therefore,  accord- 
ing to  our  former  rule,  miracles  should  not  be  en- 
tirely wanting*  Nor  are  they.  We  cannot  there- 
fore fully  admit  the  proposition  that  no  more  mira- 
cles are  petformed  in  our  day.  In  the  history  oj 
modern  missions  we  find  many  wonderful  occurren- 
ces which  unmistakably  remind  us  of  the  apostolic 
age.  In  both  periods  there  are  similar  hinderances 
to  be  overcome  in  the  heathen  world  and  similar 
confirmations  of  the  word  are  needed  to  convince 
the  dull  sense  of  men :  we  may  therefore  expect 
miracles  in  this  case."f 

And  then  as  though  less  afraid  of  the  imputa- 
tion of  credulity  than  of  skepticism,  he  gives  sev- 
eral instances,  in  the  genuineness  of  which  he 
expresses  entire  confidence.  These  we  believe  are 
but  samples  of  hundreds  that  might  be  produced 
were  it  not  for  the  exceeding  timidity,  the  shyness 
amounting  almost  to  shame-facedness  with  which 
so  many  Christians  approach  this  subject  Of 
course  with  this  sentiment  of  distrust  generally 
prevailing  on  the  subject,  we  could  hardly  expect 
that  witnesses  would  be  very  forward  in  reporting 
things  indiscreetly  supernatural,  though  quite  con- 
fident of  having  seen  them. 

•  Abp.  Tiltotson  puts  forth  a  similar  view.    Works,  x.  p.  sjo- 
t  Modern  Doubt  and  Christian  Belief,  p.  jj«. 


We  venture  however  to  give  several  instances  of 

what  seems  to  be  divine  healing,  as  they  have  been 

reported  from  missionary  fields  —  the  first  three 

being  those  cited  by  Dr.  Christlieb  in  the  work  just 

referred  to: — 

"  And  now  read  the  history  of  Hans  Egede,  the 
first  Evangelical  missionary  in  Greenland.  He  had 
given  the  Esquimaux  a  pictorial  representation  of 
the  miracles  of  Christ  before  he  had  mastered 
their  language.  His  hearers,  who,  like  many  in 
the  time  of  Christ,  had  a  perception  only  for  bodily 
relief,  urge  him  to  prove  the  power  of  this  Re- 
deemer of  the  world  upon  their  sick  people.  With 
many  sighs  and  prayers  he  ventures  to  lay  his 
hands  upon  several,  prays  over  them,  and  lo,  he 
makes  them  whole  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ! 
The  Lord  could  not  reveal  himself  plainly  enough 
to  this  mentally  blunted  and  degraded  race  by 
merely  spiritual  means,  and  therefore  bodily  signs 
were  needed." 

"At  a  Rhenish  mission  station  in  South  Africa 
in  1858,  an  earnest  native  Christian  saw  an  old 
friend  who  had  become  lame  in  both  legs.  Im- 
pressed with  a  peculiar  sense  of  believing  confv 
dence,  he  went  into  the  bushes  to  pray,  and  then 
came  straight  up  to  the  cripple,  and  said,  '  the 
same  Jesus  who  made  the  lame  to  walk,  can  do  so 
still:  I  say  to  thee,  in  the  name  of  Jesus,  rise  and 
walk!'  The  lame  man,  with  kindred  faith,  raised 
himself  on  his  staff  and  walked,  to  the  astonish- 
ment of  all  who  knew  him."  (Vide  the  Memoire 
of  Kleinschmidt,  Barmen  1866,  p.  58,  ff). 


Another  most  remarkable  instance  occurred  in 
the  case  of  a  missionary  of  the  Rhenish  society, 
named  Nommensen,  working  in  Sumatra. 

"  On  one  occasion  a  heathen  who  had  designs 
on  his  life  managed  secretly  to  mix  a  deadly  poison 
in  the  rice  which  Nommensen  was  preparing  for 
his  dinner.  Without  suspicion,  the  missionary  ate 
the  rice,  and  the  heathen  watched  for  him  to  fall 
down  dead.  Instead  of  this,  however,  the  promise 
contained  in  Mark  xvi:  18,  was  fulfilled,  and  he 
did  not  experience  the  slightest  inconvenience. 
The  heathen,  by  this  palpable  miraculous  proof  of 
the  Christian  God's  power,  became  convinced  of 
the  truth,  and  was  eventually  converted  ;  but  not 
until  his  conscience  had  impelled  him  to  confess 
his  guilt  to  Nommensen,  did  the  latter  know  from 
what  danger  he  had  been  preserved.  This  inci- 
dent is  well  attested,  and  the  missionary  still 
lives."  1873,  (vd  v,  Rohden  Geschichte  der  rhein, 
Missionsgesellsschaft,  p.  324.) 

It  will  be  seen  that  these  instances  cover  several 
specifications  in  Mark  16:  17,  18.  Their  miracu- 
lous character  cannot  of  course  be  vouched  for 
with  certainty.  For  we  have  not  witnesses  super- 
naturally  inspired  to  accredit  works  supernaturally 
wrought,  if  there  are  such  still.  But  one  would 
hardly  wish  to  charge  deception  on  those  who 
have  reported  them.  For  us,  however,  their  prob- 
ability rests  more  strongly  on  the  words  of  the 

0F  MISSIONS.  121 

great  commission*  under  which  these  missionaries 
were  acting  than  on  the  trust-worthiness  of  human 
testimony.  Doctrines  which  have  been  almost 
universally  denied  are  certain  to  force  themselves 
into  acceptance  again  if  they  are  in  the  Bible,  and 
that  Bible  is  studied.  And  a  promise  in  the  mis- 
sionary's commission  which  says  :  "  These  signs 
shall  follow "  is  liable  now  and  then  to  break 
through  custom  and  prejudice  and  get  itself  ful- 
filled. Besides  that  commission  is  certain  to  fall 
into  the  hands  of  native  preachers,  who  are  un* 
skilled  in  the  arts  of  refining  and  spiritualizing 
scripture,  and  who  know  no  better  than  to  take 
God  literally  at  his  word.  And  who  can  tell  what 
may  not  happen  when  a  Christian  who  has  not 
learned  to  doubt  comes  to  God  to  claim  the  fulfil- 
ment of  one  of  his  promises  ?     In  such  a  case  we 

*  "  But,  inasmuch  as  far  later  times  are  full  of  testimonies  to  this  point,  I 
know  not  from  what  motive  some  persons  restrain  the  gift  to  the  first  ages. 
While  I  readily  grant  to  such  persons  that  there  was  a  richer  abundance  of  mira^ 
cles  in  order  that  the  foundation  of  so  great  a  structure  might,  in  spite  of  the 
world's  power,  be  laid,  I  cannot  with  them  perceive  why  we  should  believe  that 
<fiis  promise  of  Christ  has  ceased  to  be  in  force.  Wherefore,  if  any  one  preach 
Christ,  as  he  would  have  himself  preached,  to  the  nations  that  know  him  not 
(for  miracles  are  peculiarly  intended  for  such,  i  Cor.  xiv.  22),  I  doubt  not  that 
the  promise  will  still  be  found  to  stand  good  ;  for  the  gifts  of  God  are  without 
repentance  (Rom.  xi.  29).  But  we,  whenever  the  fault  lies  in  our  own  sloth  at 
unbelief,  throw  the  blame  on  him."  —  Hugo  Grotms.    1583  — 1645. 


may  hear  of  miracles  quite  artless  and  rude  in  their 

A  missionary  of  the  Presbyterian  Board  who  has 
been  laboring  for  many  years  in  China,  declares 
that  with  the  New  Testament  in  their  hands  the 
native  Christians  are  constantly  finding  and  put- 
ting in  practice  the  promises  for  miraculous  heal- 
ing. This  fact  has  led  him  to  a  careful  revision  of 
his  opinions  on  the  subject.      He  writes: 

"Fully  believing  that  the  gifts  of  the  Spirit 
were  not  to  be  taken  from  the  Church,  I  feel  as- 
sured that  our  faith  ought  to  exercise  and  claim 
their  use  now.  The  salvation. aimed  for  by  all, 
should  be  present  release  from  sin  and  the  power 
of  Satan.  If  this  is  attained  then  the  whole  ad- 
vantage of  Christ's  life,  death  and  resurrection  will 
be  secured.  Healing  is  as  much  a  part  of  this  as  any 
verbal  proclamation  of  the  good  news.  The  min- 
istry of  healing,  therefore,  can  not  be  divorced 
from  the  duty  of  the  missionary." 

An  honored  missionary  among  the  Karens  gives 
the  following  experience : 

"While  travelling  in  the  Pegu  district  I  was 
strongly  urged  to  visit  an  out  of  the  way  village, 
in  which  were  only  a  few  Christians.  Entering 
the  house  of  one  of  them,  1  had  been  seated  but 
a  little  while  when  there  came  in  a  Karen,  an  en- 
tire stranger,  but  whose  salutation  proved  him  a 
Christian.  He  at  once  said  that  hearing  that 
the  teacher  had  come  to  visit  the  village,  he  came 


to  beg  that  I  would  go  and  pray  for  his  son  who 
was  very  ill,  he  feared  dying.     He  quoted  James 

v.,  14-15  as  his  excuse.     Of  course  Mrs. and 

myself  went  at  once,  accompanied  by  the  three  or 
four  Christians  of  the  house  in  which  we  were. 
The  patient  was  found  to  be  a  child  of  about  fif- 
teen years  of  age,  possibly  not  over  fourteen,  but 
through  scrofula,  he  was  distorted  and  crippled  so 
that  he  could  not  walk,  indeed  had  never  walked 
upright  but  crept  painfully  on  knees  and  hands.  He 
was  greatly  wasted,  and  had  been  much  worse  for 
some  weeks,  and  at  the  time  was  perfectly  helpless 
through  extreme  weakness.  He  had  every  appear- 
ance of  one  near  death.  We  prayed,  each  in  turn, 
the  lad  mingling  short  requests  with  ours.  I  think 
in  all  seven  brethren  offered  petitions.  A  little 
bottle  of  medicine  was  left  from  our  scanty  supplies 
and  we  took  leave  of  the  poor  little  fellow.  Six 
months  afterwards  the  father  came  to  the  city, 
and  on  inquiring  of  him  he  said  that  his  son 
was  well, — well  as  he  had  never  been  in  his  life, 
and  was  actually  walking  on  his  feet,  that  the  hea- 
then families  living  in  the  village  were  deeply 
impressed,  and  said  unhesitatingly  that  our  prayers 
had  saved  him.  I  asked  him  his  own  opinion.  He, 
most  emphatically,  in  his  strong  Karen  way,  said  : 
*  God  has  done  it ;  God  has  healed  him/  He  then 
said,  '  Teacher  this  is  no  new  thing ;  I  was  with 
your  father-in-law  many  times  when  God,  in  ans- 
wer to  prayers,  healed  the  sick,  and  that  is  why  1 
asked  you  to  pray  with  my  boy,  and  now  he  is 
healed.'  " 

Many  testimonies  have  been  recently  published 

by  missionaries  of  their  own  recovery  from  hope- 


less  sickness  through  the  prayers  of  faith.  We 
can  give  place  to  but  one,  and  that  quite  abridged 
in  form.  It  is  from  Rev.  Albert  Norton,  and  is 
written  to  Dr.  Stanton  of  Cincinnati,  formerly 
moderator  of  the  General  Assembly.  After  de* 
scribing  his  terrible  sickness  in  Elichpoor,  India, 
June,  1879  —  an  abscess  in  the  liver  which  had 
worked  itself  through  the  pleura  and  was  discharg- 
ing itself  into  the  right  lung  —  the  most  intense 
pain  ever  endured,  and  withal  malarious  remittent 
fever,  &c,     He  continues  : 

"  I  was  thinking  only  of  how  I  might  die  as  easy 
as  possible,  when  I  was  aroused  by  strong  desire 
to  live  for  my  family,  and  to  preach  the  unsearch- 
able riches  of  the  Gospel,  and  the  thought  came 
'  why  cannot  God  heal  you  ? '  My  dear  wife  was 
the  only  Christian  believer,  except  an  ignorant 
Kerkoo  lad,  within  eighteen  miles.  At  my  re- 
quest she  anointed  me  with  oil,  and  united  her 
prayers  with  mine  that  God  might  at  once  heal 
me.  While  I  was  praying  vocally,  before  I  felt 
any  change  in  my  body,  I  felt  perfectly  certain 
that  God  had  heard  and  answered  our  prayers. 
When  we  were  through  praying  we  commenced 
praising  ;  for  the  acute  pain  in  my  right  side,  and 
the  fever,  had  left  me.  I  was  able  at  once  to  read 
some  from  the  Bible,  and  to  look  out  some  pas- 
sages from  the  Greek  Testament.  Neither  the 
fever  nor  the  acute  pain  returned,  and  from  that 
hour  I  began  rapidly  to  grow  stronger.  In  a  few 
days  I  was  able  to  walk  half  a  mile  without  fatigue 


In  this  sickness  I  took  no  medicine,  and  had  the 
help  of  no  physician  but  Jesus.  To  him  be  all 
the  praise  and  glory.  Why  should  it  be  thought  a 
strange  thing  that  he  can  heal  our  bodies  ?  It  is 
written  of  him,  '  Himself  took  our  infirmities  and 
bare  our  sicknesses.'  Is  it  not  said  of  our  Lord, 
'Who  healeth  all  thy  diseases/  as  well  as  'Who 
forgiveth  all  their  iniquities '  ?  "  * 

We  must  believe,  however,  that  if  God  really 
stretched  forth  his  hand  to  heal  in  these  instances, 
it  was  for  the  furtherance  of  the  gospel  as  the 
chief  purpose.  Miracles  are  the  signs  and  not  the 
substance  of  Christianity.  They  are  for  the  con- 
firmation of  the  Word,  and  not  merely  for  the 
comfort  of  the  body.  And  this  fact  especially  en- 
hances the  probability  that  they  might  not  be 
entirely  wanting  in  heathen  lands. 

The  blind  man  must  read  his  Bible  by  means  of 
raised  letters  and  through  the  coarser  sense  of 
touch,  since  he  is  lacking  in  eyesight.  And  what 
if  to  the  blind  pagans,  God  should  be  pleased  now 
and  then  to  present  the  gospel  embossed  in  signs 
and  wonders,  if  "  haply  they  might  feel  after  him 
and  find  him  "  in  this  way,  when  they  could  not  at 
first  discern  him  with  the  spiritual  understanding  ? 
No  more  serious  objection  could  be  made  against 

*  The  Great  Physician,  by  Rev.  W.  E.  Boardman,  p.  ft. 


this  method  than  that  it  is  a  revival  of  the  primi 
tive.  —  "And  they  went  forth  and  preached  every- 
where, the  Lord  working  with  them,  and  confirm- 
ing the  word  with  signs  following."  Not  for  the 
satisfaction  of  the  flesh  but  for  the  glory  of  God 
and  the  vindication  of  his  truth  does  our  Lord 
stretch  out  his  healing  hand  and  "  make  bare  his 
holy  arm  in  the  eyes  of  all  the  nations."  If  it 
should  be  his  good  pleasure  to  make  use  of  those 
•ther  miracles,  the  miracles  of  martyrdom,*  and 
to  show  the  power  of  his  grace  in  the  supernatural 
endurance  of  his  servants  under  suffering,  the 
same  end  has  been  reached.  Perpetua  and  Felici- 
tas,  going  to  a  terrible  death  with  a  serenity  rising 
Into  absolute  joy  —  the  declaration  of  utter  insen- 
sibility to  pain  made  before  a  multitude  of  witnes- 
ses —  who  has  not  read  of  the  thrilling  impression 
thus  produced  upon  the  heathen,  and  of  the  irresis- 
table  impulse  thereby  given  to  the  truth  ?  These 
are  but  miracles  of  healing  seen  on  their  reverse 
side  ;  the  Lord's  hand  stretched  out  to  rob  death 
of  its  pain,  instead  of  robbing  death  of  its  victim. 
"That  the  word  of  the  Lord  may  have  free  course 
and  be  glorified  whether  by  my  life  or  by  my  death"; 

•"Martyrdoms  I  reckon  amongst  Miracles,  becauM  they  exceed  die  •trengtfc  <d 
human  nature."  -  Bac*n. 


whether  by  my  cure  or  by  my  patience  under  suf- 
fering—  this  must  be  our  prayer  always.  But 
God  be  praised  that  he  willeth  the 'health  of  his 
people  and  not  their  hurt.  The  priests  of  Baal  seek 
to  prove  their  God  by  cutting  themselves  with 
knives  and  lancets.  Elijah  has  just  proved  his 
God  by  calling  the  widow's  dead  son  to  life  and 
delivering  him  to  his  mother.  How  greatly  do  the 
idolators,  with  their  endless  worship  of  self-torture, 
need  to  be  taught  this  truth  :  that  our  God  is  one 
that  makes  alive  and  not  one  that  killeth. 

Would,  then,  that  the  heathen  could  know  Christ 
as  the  Healer !  Who  has  not  said  it  as  he  has 
read  of  the  awful  loathsomeness  of  their  sicknesses 
and  the  cruel  impositions  of  their  doctors.  Next 
to  the  intolerable  tyranny  of  evil  priests  is  that  of 
"  the  forgers  of  lies,  the  physicians  of  no  value," 
with  which  every  pagan  nation  is  afflicted.  Can 
we  describe  or  imagine  the  joy  of  the  heathen's 
deliverance  from  the  hopeless  search  for  peace  of 
conscience,  as  he  finds  Christ,  the  sin  pardoner  ? 
"  Great  Spirit  untie  the  load  of  our  sins.  If  this 
load  were  bound  round  our  shoulders  we  could  un- 
tie it  for  ourselves ;  but  it  is  bound  round  our 
hearts,  and  we  cannot   untie  it,  but  thou  canst 


Lord  untie  it  now."  So  prayed  a  poor  Fejee 
Islander.*  Was  not  the  revelation  beyond  all 
price  that  made  known  to  him  the  fact  that  Christ 
"  bore  our  sins  in  his  own  body  on  the  tree,"  and  so 
could  instantly  lift  the  load  which  he  had  toiled  in 
vain  to  lift  ?  And  what  if  added  to  this  he  could  hear 
and  appropriate  that  other  revelation,  that  "  himself 
bare  our  sicknesses?"  If  when  "  the  whole  head  is 
sick  and  the  whole  heart  faint,  from  the  sole  of  the 
foot  even  unto  the  head,  no  soundness  in  it,  but 
wounds  and  bruises  and  putrifying  sores  ;"  and  if, 
after  spending  all  his  living  on  false  physicians,  his 
wounds  "  have  not  been  closed,  neither  bound  up, 
neither  mollified  with  ointment,"  he  could  then 
know  the  Saviour's  healing  touch  laid  upon  him, 
and  hear  the  word  "  thou  art  made  whole,"  what 
glory  would  he  give  to  our  Lord  and  Redeemer! 

Is  it  unbecoming  or  presumptuous  for  us  to  con 
jecture  what  effects  would  ensue  if  the  gospel 
were  thus  to  be  preached  on  heathen  fields  "  with 
signs  following  ?  "  Sickness  is  the  dark  shadow  of 
sin,  and  nowhere  does  it  lie  so  heavily  as  on  the 
pagan  nations.  If  now  and  then  that  shadow  were 
seen  to  be  lifted  by  the  Lord's  hand,  the  event 

•  Journal  of  Weslyan  Mittioos. 


could  hardly  fail  to  open  a  wide  and  effectual  door 
of  entrance  for  the  gospel.  God  forbid  that  we 
should  desire  or  grasp  for  anything  which  it  is  not 
his  pleasure  to  give.  But  what  if  it  should  seem 
to  us  that  the  great  commission  demands  these 
signs  instead  of  forbidding  them  ?  Baptism,  that 
sign  of  Christ's  death  and  resurrection  and  of  our 
justification  thereby,  is  in  the  commission:  and 
what  bitter  battles  have  been  fought  in  the  Church 
for  its  maintenance !  And  healing  the  sick,  that 
sign  of  Christ  glorified  and  alive  forevermore,  is 
)n  the  commission  just  as  unequivocally.  And 
yet  we  are  so  weak  and  perplexed  and  impo- 
tent before  it.  Yes !  it  is  there :  But  who  is 
sufficient  for  these  things  ? "  Who  of  us  would 
quite  dare  to  repeat  on  behalf  of  our  Missionary 
brethren,  some  of  whom  are  laboring  among  hos- 
tile rulers,  and  blood-thirsty  tribes,  the  apostles 
prayer  —  "  And  now  Lord  behold  their  threaten- 
ings  and  grant  unto  thy  servants  that  with  all  bold- 
ness they  may  speak  thy  word,  by  stretching  forth 
thine  hand  to  heal:  and  that  signs  and  wonders 
may  be  done  in  the  name  of  thy  holy  child  Jesus  ?" 
If  we  cannot  utter  this  prayer  we  may  at  least  join 
in    the    petition  which    a   devout    commentator 


breathes  over  the  closing  words  of  Mark's  Gospel 

"  Let  us  cry  to  the  Lord :  strengthen  and  bless 
thou  the  hands  of  thine  authenticated  messengers  : 
that  they  may  rightly  lay  them  upon  men ;  and 
that  before  thy  coming  again  thy  promise  may  be 
abundantly  fulfilled :  they  shall  be  healed:  it  shall 
be  well  with  them."0 

•Stier>s  WonT.of  Jmos. 



His  testimony  ought  not  to  be  cited,  it  will  be 
said,  since  he  is  "  a  liar  and  the  father  of  it." 

But  if  we  bear  in  mind  always  who  and  what  he 
is,  his  witness  may  serve  a  very  excellent  end. 
For  we  must  know,  unless  we  are  utterly  "  igno- 
rant of  his  devices,"  that  his  deceptions  are 
generally  counterfeits  of  divine  realities.  His 
business  is  to  resist  the  Almighty  by  mimicking 
his  words  and  his  works.  Hence  his  lies  are  often 
very  serviceable  as  the  negatives  from  which  to 
reproduce  photograph's  of  God's  truths.  And  if 
we  will  notice  what  the  adversary  is  especially  busy 
in  bringing  forward  at  any  period,  we  may  by  con- 
trast infer  what  vital  doctrine  or  important  truth 
of  God  is  struggling  into  recognition. 

We  regard  this  principle  as  so  unquestionable 
and  so  distinctly  scriptural,  that  we  are  always 
surprised  to  see  Christian  writers  betrayed  by 
overlooking  it.     "  If  you  credit  any  modern  mira- 


cles  in  God's  true  Church,  you  must  logically  con- 
cede the  genuineness  of  the  alleged  miracles  of 
the  Romish  Church  "  it  is  often  confidently  said. 
Nay !  but  have  you  never  read  of  him  "  whose 
coming  is  after  the  working  of  Satan  with  all 
power  and  signs  and  lying  wonders?"*  The  work- 
ing of  Anti-christ  is  the  counterpart  of  the  work- 
ing of  Christ.  Not  feeble,  transparently  false,  and 
contemptible  are  the  miracles  of  the  adversary. 
"  Signs  and  wonders,"  are  predicted  of  him  — the 
same  terms  as  those  applied  to  the  works  of  Christ. 
And  not  only  that,  but  "  all  power,"  is  ascribed  to 
him  —  the  same  words  employed  which  Christ 
used  at  his  ascension,  when  laying  claim  to  uni- 
versal authority.  Without  stopping  to  consider 
what  limitations  the  language  may  have  in  such 
connection,  its  use  is  certainly  startling  and  indi- 
cates that  the  miracles  of  Anti-christ  are  likely  to 
be  powerful  and  impressive,  and  fitted  to  "  deceive 
the  very  elect."  But  it  is  most  illogical  to  con- 
clude that  we  must  believe  in  lying  wonders,  be- 
cause we  believe  in  real  wonders ;  and  that  we 
must  credit  the  miracles  of  the  Apostate  Church 
because  we  find  those  which  we  credit  in  the  true 

*  ii  The»(.  ii  i  to,  is.    Abo  R«v.  16:  14.  "  Spirit*  ol  Derflf  working  miracle*  " 



Church.  We  say  "miracles  of  the  Apostate 
Church."  The  fathers  and  the  reformers  attribu- 
ted actual  miracles  to  Anti-christ,  —  wonders  of  a 
superhuman  character,  only  demoniacal  instead  of 
divine,  wrought  through  the  agency  of  evil  spirits 
to  simulate  the  works  of  the  Spirit  of  God.*  And 
this  view  seems  scriptural.  In  describing  the 
perils  of  the  last  days  Paul  declares  concerning  false 
teachers  that  "as  Jannes  and  Jambres  withstood 
Moses  so  do  these  also  resist  the  truth."  The 
method  of  resistance  which  these  magicians  offer- 
ed, it  will  be  remembered,  was  to  reproduce  the 
miracles  of  God's  servants.  When  Aaron  wrought 
wonders  with  his  rod  "they  also  did  in  like  manner 
with  their  enchantments."  Miracle  was  matched  by 
miracle,  and  wonder  by  wonder,  up  to  the  point 
where  God  triumphed  by  confounding  the  deceiv- 

So  has  it  been  with  the  Church  of  Christ  all 
through  her  history.  Satan  has  ever  been  seeking 
to  thwart  God  by  imitation  rather  than  by  denial. 

•Augustine  declares  that  miracles  may  emanate  " either  frotn  seducing  spirits 
or  from  God  himself ."  Huss  says,  "  the  disciples  of  Anti-christ  are  more  dis- 
tinguished by  miracles  than  those  of  Christ,  and  will  be  so  in  day*  to  come,— 
Defence  of  Wickliffe,  p.  115.  Calvin  says,  "  Satan  perverts  the  things  which  oth- 
erwise are  truly  works  of  God  and  miitmjUys  thwocU*  to  vbsotre  G*-ft  glory" 
Comment  on  11.    The**.  11 1  9. 


And  we  imagine  that  he  has  done  more  for  build 
ing  up  his  kingdom  through  the  Papal  miracle' 
mongers  who  have  claimed  divine  power  than 
through  the  infidel  miracle-deniers  who  have  dis- 
puted it.  But  there  have  been  nevertheless  certain 
evident  tokens  of  spuriousness  attaching  to  Romish 
miracles,  that  have  indicated  their  true  character  to 
believers.  There  is  a  kind  of  Egyptian  crudeness 
about  them  which  suggests  the  art  of  the  sorcerer 
rather  than  the  touch  of  God's  finger.  Alleged  heal- 
ing by  contact  with  the  bones  of  dead  saints  :  pains 
assuaged  by  making  the  sign  of  the  Cross  over  the 
sufferer ;  recoveries  effected  by  pilgrimages  to  the 
shrines  of  martyrs,  and  evil  spirits  exorcised  by 
the  crucifix  or  the  image  of  the  virgin  I  who  does 
not  see  the  vast  contrast  in  these  methods,  from 
the  dignified  and  simple  methods  of  Christ  and  his 
Apostles  ?  "  God  never  puts  a  man  upon  the  stage 
that  Satan  does  not  immediately  bring  forward  an 
ape,"  says  Godet.  He  will  approach  as  near  the 
truth  as  possible,  and  still  keep  to  his  lie.  He 
will  give  us  miracles  through  his  false  prophets 
that  seem  divine  in  their  end  and  purpose,  but  will 
always  be  careful  to  link  them  to  some  deadly  su- 
perstition or  fatal  heresy. 


We  emphasize  the  assertion  therefore  that  false 
miracles  are  a  testimony  to  the  existence  some 
where  of  the  true,  and  that  we  ought  to  be  very 
careful  lest  in  our  revolt  from  the  caricature,  we 
swing  over  to  a  denial  of  the  genuine.* 

In  our  own  time  we  have  witnessed  an  extraor- 
dinary forth-putting  of  satanic  energy  in  the  works 
of  modern  spiritualism.  This  is  a  system  more 
versatile  in  uncleanness,  more  fertile  in  blasphemy, 
and  more  prolific  of  adulteries,  fleshly  and  spiritual 
than  any  probably  that  has  appeared  for  many 
generations.  In  all  its  acts  and  exhibitions,  it  is 
so  redolent  of  the  foul  smoke  of  Gehenna,  that  it 
would  seem  impossible  that  any  Christian  could  be 
deceived  by  it ;  yet  it  has  taken  thousands  of  pro- 
fessed disciples  of  Christ  captive,  so  that  they  have 
"  gone  in  the  way  of  Cain,  and  run  greedily  after 
the  error  of  Baalam  for  reward,  and  perished  in 
the  gainsaying  of  Core."  Its  manifestations  arfl 
characterized  by  just  those  impish,  grotesque  and 

*  "According  to  all  evidence  of  Scripture  there  never  were  spurious  miracles  with- 
out the  genuine :  there  never  were  those  from  beneath,  without  those  from  above 
at  the  same  time.  And  prophecy  agrees  with  fact.  As  tokens  of  the  last  day  our 
Lord  foretells  the  signs  and  wonders  of  false  Christs  and  prophets,  and  Joel  fore- 
tells true  ones.  Thus  every  counterfeit  implies  something  counterfeited;  and  if 
you  prove  counterfeit  miracles,  you  only  tell  us  to  open  our  eyes  the  wider  and 
Cook  for  the  originals."  Rev.  Thomas  Boys.  "  Proofs  of  Miraculous  Faith  and 
Experience  of  the  Church."    P.  1 1,  w. 


fantastic  exhibitions,  which  always  distinguish  the 
devil's  work  from  that  of  Christ  Its  rappings 
and  table-tippings  and  materializations,  and  com- 
munions with  the  dead, —  what  evident  tokens  of 
perdition  these  should  be  to  one  who  has  been  at 
all  accustomed  to  discriminate  between  divine  and 
satanic  traits !  And  yet  as  a  competent  writer  de- 
clares "  these  things  are  unblushingly  and  openly 
professed  and  practiced  by  Christian  men  in  all 
lands  :  those  who  believe  them  to  be  really  spirit- 
ual, affirming  that  they  are  wrought  by  good  spir- 
its ;  and  those  who  disbelieve  them  to  be  the  work 
of  spirits  at  all,  playing  with  them  in  their  unbe- 
lief." Alas  !  that  such  a  system  should  be  able  to 
boast  of  its  millions  of  adherents,  and  that  in  those 
millions  thousands  should  be  found  who  have  borne 
or  still  bear  the  name  of  Christ.  Looking  at  the 
matter  in  the  light  of  Scripture,  we  know  of  no 
more  conspicuous  sign  of  the  last  days  and  of  the 
"perilous  times  "  therein  predicted  than  this.* 
Now  it  is  well  known  that  one  of  the  loudest 

•"  Whenever  these  things  have  appeared  it  wu  a  sign  of  approaching  doom. 
When  the  Caaaanites  practised  thero  the  measure  of  their  iniquity  was  full.  When 
Saul  applied  to  the  Witch  of  F.ndor,  his  end  was  near.  When  these  things  pre- 
vailed among  the  Jews,  their  day  was  closing.  Let  us  not  permit  such  among  us 
lest  it  should  become  the  sign  to  us  of  declension  and  doom"-  Tract,  "  What  m 
tttttmtrum  t "     Ltmdtm      Benvrik  *nd  Hitrrucn. 


pretensions  of  spiritualism  is  the  claim  to  effect 
miraculous  healing.  It  declares  that  Christ 
wrought  his  cures  through  the  agency  of  spirits 
and  that  it  can  do  the  same.  Hence  the  legion  of 
"healing  mediums,"  and  the  innumerable  "lying 
wonders"  by  which  their  assumptions  are  enforced. 
It  is  very  natural  that  decent  Christians  in  their 
recoil  from  such  revolting  wonder-working,  should 
take  the  position  of  stout  denial  of  all  miraculous 
interventions  in  modern  times,  and  of  any  super- 
natural healing.  But  we  believe  this  to  be  an  un- 
worthy and  unfaithful  attitude.  It  is  as  though 
Moses  and  Aaron  had  retreated  in  disgust  before 
Jannes  and  Jambres,  instead  of  pressing  on  with 
miracle  upon  miracle  till  they  had  compelled  them 
to  surrender  to  the  Lord  of  Hosts.  It  is  as  though 
Paul  had  been  ashamed  of  the  power  of  the  Spirit 
that  was  in  him  when  he  met  the  "damsel  possessed 
with  a  spirit  of  divination,"  and  had  renounced  his 
miraculous  gifts  for  fear  of  being  identified  with 
sooth-sayers  and  necromancers,  instead  of  assert- 
ing his  power  as  he  did  the  more  mightily,  and 
saying  to  the  evil  spirit  that  possessed  her,  "I 
command  thee  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus  to 
come  out  of  her." 


To  us  this  outbreak  of  satanic  empiricism*  would 
be  a  strong  presumptive  proof  that  somewhere 
the  Lord  is  reviving  among  his  people  the  gifts  of 
divine  healing :  and  this  constant  presentation  of 
the  devil's  coin  would  lead  us  to  search  diligently 
for  the  genuine  coin  bearing  Christ's  own  image 
and  superscription. 

A  thoughtful  writer  on  this  subject  has  called 
attention  to  the  fact  that  the  era  of  modern  spirit- 
ualism covers  almost  exactly  the  era  of  the  alleged 
revival  of  the  gifts  of  healing.  The  most  striking 
instances  of  professed  miraculous  cure  in  modern 
times  happened,  as  we  have  shown  elsewhere, 
about  fifty  years  ago  in  Scotland  and  in  England 
The  instances  have  increased  and  multiplied  since, 
till  to-day  the  number  of  devout,  prayerful,  evan- 
gelical Christians  who  claim  to  have  been  miracu- 
lously recovered  is  very  large,  and  their  names  are 

•  It  U  a  carious  fact  that  in  the  New  Testament  Greek,  the  term  for  sorcery  is 
the  fame  as  that  for  drugs.  For  example,  Rer.  aa :  15.  "  Without  are  dogs  and 
sorcerers,"  Qapfiaitti  pharmacists,  and  GaL  ri :  19.  — "  The  works  of  the  flesh 
are  adultery,  undeanness,  laaciviousnesB,  idolatry,  witchcraft,  jap/tama  phnr. 
macy.  And  when  we  think  of  the  legion  of  medicine-men  and  medicine-women 
who  prey  upon  the  sick ;  the  spiritualists  and  trance-doctors  with  their  prescrip- 
tions dictated  by  the  dead,  who  swarm  into  the  sick-rooms  of  our  afflicted  humani- 
ty, as  thick  an  the  frogs  of  Egypt  in  the  bed-chambers  of  Pharaoh,  then  seems  to 
be  agransjgBafoaaawhjtbeuseof  these  worrfe. 


sent  up  from  every  nation  where  the  Gospel  has 
been  preached. 

It  may  be  that  "  the  prince  of  the  power  of  the 
air,  the  spirit  that  now  worketh  in  the  children  of 
disobedience,"  seeing  God  about  to  put  forth  his 
hand  again  in  signs  and  wonders,  and  miracles  of 
healing,  has  determined,  as  he  is  wont,  to  thwart  the 
Lord  by  caricaturing  his  work,  and  bringing  it  into 
contempt  in  the  eyes  of  his  own  true  people.  Thus, 
perhaps,  he  has  thrown  himself  into  the  very  path 
which  the  Almighty  is  about  to  enter,  that  so  he 
may  frighten  his  church  from  treading  it.  Or, 
to  state  the  matter  as  it  seems  to  us  most  probable, 
it  may  be  that  the  adversary  has  seized  as  his  most 
opportune  occasion  a  time  when  a  belief  in  the 
supernatural  is  at  its  lowest  ebb  *  in  the  church* 
and  when  a  denial  of  modern  miracles  is  well  nigh 
universal  among  the  learned,  and  that  in  such  a 
period  he  is  putting  forth  the  most  signal  displays 
of  superhuman  power  in  order  to  set  his  evil  im- 
press upon  those  who  may  be  impressed  by  these 

*  "  When  men  no  longer  believe  in  God  they  begin  to  believe  in  ghosts.  In 
truth  there  has  scarcely  ever  been  an  age  when  men  have  snatched  more  greedily 
after  the  extravagant  than  our  own  which  derides  the  supernatural.  " —  Schenkel. 
Hear  also  Carlyle's  powerful  ridicule  of  Paris,  coating  off  God  and  running  after 
mesmerism,  "  O  women  I  O  men  I  great  is  {your  infidel  faith.  I  "-French  ReTC 
cattoa,  p.  50. 


things.  Thus  he  is  copying  the  Lord's  own  me 
thod  in  using  miracles  as  an  evidential  testimony, 
only  with  this  end,  to  establish  "  the  doctrines  of 
devils,"  and  to  convert  people  to  the  creed  of  the 
prince  of  darkness.  But  are  we  to  turn  against 
the  witness  of  miracles,  because  of  this  attempt  to 
make  it  perjure  itself  in  the  interest  of  the  evil 
one  ?  Or,  to  reverse  the  hypothesis,  and  suppose 
that  the  evil  one  is  the  first  to  enter  this  field,  then 
comes  the  question  with  equal  force,  whether  be- 
cause of  his  preoccupancy  we  should  refuse  to  go 
into  it,  if  God's  Spirit  leads  the  way.  If  Anti- 
christ is  about  to  make  his  mightiest  and  most 
malignant  demonstration,  ought  not  the  Church,  if 
the  Lord  will  give  her  power,  to  confront  him  with 
sweet  and  gracious  and  humble  displays  of  the 
Spirit's  saving  health  ?  Here  we  believe  Prof. 
Christlieb  speaks  again  with  true  scriptural  wisdom 
when  he  says : 

"  In  the  last  epoch  of  the  consummation  of  the 
Church  she  will  again  require  for  the  final  decisive 
struggle  with  the  powers  of  darkness  the  miraculous 
interference  of  her  risen  Lord  ;  and  hence  the  scrip- 
tures lead  us  to  expect  miracles  once  more  for  this 
period."  *     Meanwhile  let  us  be  careful  that  the 

•  Modem  Doubt  and  Christian  Belief,  p.  3  ja. 


adversary  does  not  cheat  us  out  of  our  birthright. 
If  he  has  set  his  trade-mark  on  miracles,  and  is 
using  them  mightily  in  his  traffic  with  simple  souls, 
let  us  not  make  haste  therefore  to  forfeit  whatever 
right  and  title  in  them  the  Lord  has  bequeathed 
to  us.  Let  us  not  abandon  our  wheat  field  because 
the  devil  has  sowed  tares  in  it.  The  fact  that  he 
sows  tares,  is  his  testimony  to  the  genuineness  of 
the  wheat. 

Of  course  we  should  expect  in  the  event  of  the 
Church's  recovery  to  any  extent  of  her  super- 
natural gifts  that  the  enemy  would  put  forth  re- 
doubled energy  to  baffle  and  confound  her.  Before 
a  sleeping  church  the  adversary  walks  very  softly, 
and  modulates  his  roar  to  the  finest  tones,  lest  he 
wake  her  from  her  slumber.  But  let  her  once  rise 
up  and  take  to  herself  some  long  disused  power 
and  he  will  quickly  manifest  himself  in  his  old 
character  of  "  a  roaring  lion  walking  about  seeking 
whom  he  may  devour." 

Erskine,  speaking  concerning  those  texts  which 
so  clearly  confer  miraculous  gifts  upon  the  Church, 

"  I  may  here  remark  it,  as  a  striking  fact  illus- 
trative of  the  cunning  of  the  prince  of  darkness, 

14^  7»K   TESTIMONY 

that  he  has  not  permitted  his  instruments  to  pres* 
these  texts  much,  nor  to  argue  from  them  so  tri- 
umphantly as  they  might  have  done,  that  the 
absence  of  miracles  from  the  Church  was  a  refuta- 
tion of  the  Bible.  The  Bible  says,  "  These  signs 
shalljollow  them  that  believe."  And  yet  here  is  a 
Church  holding  this  faith  and  unfollowed  by  these 
signs.  The  ready  conclusion  from  this  fact  cer- 
tainly is  that  the  Bible  is  not  true  ;  and  we  might 
have  expected  that  this  argument  would  be  much 
nsed  by  those  who  deny  the  Bible  to  be  a  divine 
revelation.  But  it  has  not  been  much  urged  ;  and 
why  ?  The  subtle  enemy  of  man  saw  that  there 
was  more  danger  to  his  own  kingdom  from  the  use 
of  this  weapon  than  advantage.  It  might  have 
led  to  a  result  very  different  from  that  of  disprov- 
ing the  divine  authority  of  the  Bible.  There  is 
another  conclusion  to  which  it  might  have  led,  and 
ihat  is  a  lack  of  faith  in  the  Church.  And  thus 
the  pressing  of  this  argument  might  have  awak- 
ened the  Church  to  a  sense  of  her  true  condition ; 
and  this  Satan  fears  more  than  the  Bible,  knowing 
that  a  church  asleep  is  the  most  powerful  weapon 
against  the  world,  much  more  powerful  than  any 
infidel  arguments."  * 

*  Brucn  Serpent,  p.  104. 



Awake,  then,  oh  Church  !  Put  on  thy  strength ! 
Awake  indeed  to  evil  surmisings  and  contempt 
and  opprobrium.  For  none  ever  yet  escaped  these 
things  in  attempting  to  revive  a  forgotten  truth. 
But  these  may  be  tokens  of  the  Lord's  favor. 
Certainly  they  are  not  the  credentials  of  a  slumber- 
ing and  world-pleasing  church.  At  all  events,  let 
us  fear  them  less  than  that  other  alternative,  that 
the  heathen  shall  cry  "Where  is  thy  God?"  and 
none  shall  be  able  to  answer  "Jehovah  Rophi  is 
with  us." 



"  Prove  me  now  herewith  "  is  the  challenge  which 
the  Lord  has  given  in  his  word ;  and  there  are 
many  in  the  present  generation  who  have  accepted 
and  tested  his  challenge  on  the  promises  of  bodily 

We  wish  in  this  chapter  to  consider  the  experi- 
ences and  testimony  of  certain,  who  within  our 
own  times  have  exercised  a  ministry  of  healing. 
Let  us  not  be  misunderstood.  We  do  not  attribute 
to  any  man  the  power  of  curing  sickness,  though 
we  think  many  are  called  to  be  instruments  to  that 
end.  A  physician  is  a  mediator  between  nature 
and  our  suffering  humanity.  And  his  skill  depends 
solely  upon  his  ability  to  interpret  and  apply  the 
laws  of  health  to  the  sick,  and  to  bring  the  sufferer 
into  contact  with  the  recuperative  forces  of  the  nat- 
ural world.  In  like  manner  if  the  primitive  "gifts  of 
healing  "  are  still  bestowed  in  the  Church,  as  we 
believe,  those  endowed  with  them  have  power  only 


through  the  mediation  of  their  faith  and  prayers. 
We  are  told  that  Paul  entered  into  the  house  of 
Publius,  and,  finding  his  father  sick,  "  prayed  and 
laid  his  hands  on  him  and  healed  him."  But  we  do 
not  understand  from  this  that  the  apostle  had  any 
inherent  personal  power  to  heal  disease  ;  else  why 
did  he  pray  ?  Prayer  is  touching  the  hem  of 
Christ's  garment  by  the  human  intercessor,  while  in 
the  laying  on  of  hands  he  at  the  same  moment 
touches  the  body  of  the  sufferer.  It  is  simply,  in 
a  word,  the  repetition  of  what  was  done  again  and 
again  during  the  earthly  ministry  of  our  Lord,  the 
bringing  of  the  sick  to  Jesus  for  healing  and  cleans- 
ing. "  Why  look  ye  so  earnestly  on  us,  as  though 
by  our  own  power  or  holiness  we  had  made  this 
man  to  walk  ? "  asks  Peter  of  those  who  were  won- 
dering at  the  miracle  at  the  Beautiful  Gate.  If  it 
were  a  question  of  human  power  or  holiness  we 
might  be  quite  ready  to  relegate  the  gifts  of  heal- 
ing to  the  apostolic  age,  confessing  our  utter  lack 
of  these  qualifications.  But  since  it  is  a  question 
of  the  power  and  holiness  of  "Jesus  Christ,  the 
same  yesterday,  to-day,  and  forever,"  it  is  quite 
another  matter.  "  If  thou  canst  believe  "  is  the  ques- 
tion now.     "  A  year  famous  for  believing,"  is  the 


language  in  which  Romaine  designated  a  certain 
unusual  twelvemonth  of  his  ministry.  If  such  a 
year  should  be  graciously  injected  into  the  calen- 
dar of  any  Christian  life  it  would  be  a  year  of 
Success.  For  believing  is  knowing  God  and  find- 
rig  the  depths  of  power  and  privilege  that  are 
nidden  for  us  in  him :  and  "  the  people  that  do 
know  their  God  shall  be  strong  and  do  exploits  " 
says  the  scripture.* 

Now,  there  have  been  some  in  our  day  who  have 
had  faith  to  take  the  Lord  at  his  word  in  connec- 
tion with  the  promises  of  healing.  And  having, 
as  they  believed,  proved  him,  and  found  him  faith- 
ful, their  testimony  will  be  deeply  instructive  to 
our  readers. 

Dorothea  Trudel  is  a  name  especially  honored 
in  this  relation.  The  story  of  her  life  and  labors 
in  connection  with  the  home  for  invalids  in  the 
Swiss  village  of  Mannedorf  on  Lake  Zurich  has 
been  very  widely  read,  and  has  caused  great 
searchings  of  heart  in  many  who  have  pondered 
it.f  The  Lord  provides  deep  roots  when  there 
are  to  be  wide-spreading  branches.  And  this  life 
whose  boughs  60  ran  over  the  wall,  and  stretched 

•Dm.  ii  :  ja. 
t  Dorothea  Trudel,  or  The  Prayer  of  Faith.     London  :  Morgan  and  Scott. 


beyond  the  bounds  of  ordinary  service,  was  un- 
usually rooted  and  established. 

The  mother  from  whom  she  received  her  birth  and 
early  training  was  so  remarkable  for  her  faith  and 
consecration  that,  though  living  in  the  utmost 
obscurity  and  poverty,  her  biography  has  been 
placed  among  those  of  the  illustrious  Christian 
women  of  the  ages.*  The  wife  of  a  brutal  and 
godless  husband,  and  so  cut  off  from  human  sym- 
pathy that  there  was  none  but  God  to  whom  she 
could  appeal  in  her  need,  she  was  schooled  by 
this  bitter  tuition  into  a  life  of  faith  and  absolute 
dependence  on  God.  She  looked  to  Him  for  food 
for  her  family  when  they  must  otherwise  have 
starved ;  for  deliverance  when  they  must  other- 
wise have  perished ;  for  healing  when  they  must 
otherwise  have  died.  Dorothea  grew  up  with  per- 
petual exhibitions  before  her  eye  of  the  Lord's 
restoring  of  the  sick  for  a  poor  household  which 
could  employ  no  other  physician.  The  faith  which 
it  is  so  difficult  for  us  to  recover  was  her  native  in- 
heritance. Hence  what  we  doubt  so  painfully 
whether  we  may  do,  she  bitterly  condemned  her- 

*  Consecrated  Women.    London:  Hodder  and  Stoughten. 


self   for  not  doing  when   she  had   subsequently 
neglected  it. 

After  her  parents  had  died  we  find  her  engaged 
in  labors  of  love  among  the  working  people ;  teach- 
ing them  the  gospel,  and  seeking  to  lead  them  to 
the  Saviour.  How  her  personal  use  of  the  prayer 
of  faith  begun  in  connection  with  these  labors  she 
tells  in  the  following  words  : 

"  Four  of  them  fell  ill,  and,  as  each  could  do  as 
he  pleased,  all  four  summoned  a  doctor.  It  was 
remarked,  however,  that  they  got  worse  after 
taking  the  medicine,  until,  at  last,  the  necessity 
became  so  pressing  that  /  went  as  a  worm  to  the 
Lord,  and  laid  our  distress  before  him.  I  told  him 
how  willingly  I  would  send  for  an  elder,  as  is  com- 
manded in  James  v.,  but,  as  there  was  not  one,  I 
must  go  to  my  sick  ones  in  the  faith  of  the  Canaan- 
it  is  h  woman,  and,  without  trusting  to  any  vittue  in 
my  hand,  I  would  lay  it  upon  them.  I  did  so,  and, 
by  the  Lo>d's  blessing,  all  four  recovered.  Most 
powerfully  then  did  the  sin  of  disobeying  God's 
word  strike  me,  and  most  vividly  did  the  simple 
life  of  faith,  the  carrying  out  just  what  God  orders, 
stand  before  me." 

Soon  after  she  gave  herself  wholly  to  the  Mas- 
ter's work ;  and  as  the  effects  of  her  evangel- 
istic efforts,  and  the  answers  to  her  earnest  pray- 
ers were  noticed,  she  was  importuned  to  receive 
patients  into  her  house.      Consenting  reluctantly 


the  life-work  thus  began,  from  which  was  to  flow 
such  a  blessing  to  the  souls  and  bodies  of  men. 

Her  methods  were  very  simple :  the  Bible  and 
prayer  were  her  medicines.  She  dealt  with  the 
soul  first,  using  every  effort  to  bring  it  to  faith  and 
obedience  to  the  Gospel ;  she  prayed  for  the  body, 
laying  hands  on  the  sick  and  anointing  them  with 
oil  in  the  name  of  the  Lord.  In  all  this  she  rec- 
ognized the  necessity  of  the  most  absolute  conse- 
cration on  her  part  and  that  of  her  helpers,  and  of 
the  most  surrendering  faith  on  the  part  of  the 
sick.  Very  beautifully  does  she  thus  speak  of  the 
believer's  privilege : — 

"  In  the  New  Testament  we  are  called  kings,  and 
priests.  Power  accompanied  the  anointing  of  the 
kings,  and  if  we  really  belong  to  the  kingly 
priesthood  shall  not  strength  to  heal  the  sick  by 
prayer  come  on  us  also  through  the  anointing  of 
the  Spirit?  If  we  only  wear  our  Levite  dress,  and 
are  consecrated  in  soul  and  body  —  if  we  are  only 
prepared  to  be  vessels  of  his  grace  —  it  is  his  part 
to  bless.  Oh,  that  we  were  willing  not  to  do  more 
than  God  would  have  us  do,  then  would  this  day 
be  one  of  great  reviving  to  us  !  " 

Thus  her  work  was  inaugurated,  and  thus  was 

she  inducted  by  unseen  hands  into  her  remarkable 




Rarely  have  we  traced  the  story  of  a  life  whose 
consecration  was  so  even  and  unreserved.  Among 
the  sayings  which  she  left  on  record  is  this.  ' '  The 
heart  ought  not  to  be  an  inn  where  the  Lord  some- 
times comes,  but  a  home  where  he  always  abides." 
It  was  her  calling  for  many  years  to  keep  an  inn 
where  the  sick  could  lodge,  a  hospice  into  which 
the  suffering  and  distracted  wanderer  could  turn 
for  solace.  These  came  and  went  with  the  recur- 
ring months,  but  so  constantly  was  the  Lord  abiding 
with  her,  that  it  might  be  said  according  to  Luth- 
er's beautiful  simile  that  the  way-farer  coming 
and  knocking  at  her  heart  and  asking  "  who  lives 
here  ? "  would  hear  the  instant  answer  from  within, 
"Jesus  Christ."  Not  that  she  ever  claimed  as 
much ;  for  none  was  ever  more  humble  and  self  de- 
preciatory ;  but  her  life  declared  it.  It  comes  out 
in  her  biography  that  her  prayers  were  sometimes 
prolonged  into  midnight :  that  her  soul  so  wrought 
with  intense  desire  that  often  the  sweat  would 
stand  in  beads  upon  her  forehead.  Once  in  busy 
labors  among  the  sick  she  passed  the  whole  day 
without  food,  utterly  forgetting  the  claims  of  na- 
'.ure  in  her  absorbing  devotion  to  her  work ;  and 
\l»»u  finding  it  impossible  to  get  food  on  account  of 


the  lateness  of  the  hour  she  falls  at  Jesus'  feet, 
and  begs  for  that  meat  that  the  world  knows  not 
of,  and  is  so  refreshed  and  filled  that  she  goes  all 
night  in  the  strength  of  it. 

Such  rare  and  Christ-like  consecration  has  always 
proved  an  apt  soil  for  the  manifestation  of  the  mi- 
raculous ;  especially  when  chastened  and  fertilized 
by  bitter  persecutions.  And  this  token  which  the 
Scripture  promises  to  "  all  who  will  live  godly  in 
Christ  Jesus  "  was  not  wanting  to  her,  as  the  spirit 
to  endure  it  with  unresenting  meekness  was  not 
wanting.  "I  have  had  enemies,"  she  writes  "both 
known  and  unknown  in  crowds ;  and  thickly  scat- 
tered falsehoods  and  slanders  were  no  pleasant  por- 
tion. I  write  this  with  the  feeling  that  whoever 
cannot  bear,  without  emotion,  even  the  blackest 
falsehoods  and  slanders  has  yet  to  experience 
something  of  the  peace  of  God  which  is  like  an 
ocean  without  bounds."  Medical  men  and  others 
conceived  great  hostility  to  her,  and  sought  to  con- 
vict her  of  mal-practice  in  the  courts ;  though  it 
was  shown  in  testimony  that  most  of  her  patients 
were  such  as  had  spent  all  their  living  upon  physi- 
cians only  to  be  made  worse ;  and  that  the  only 


medicine  she  employed  was  prayer.     Speaking  of 

this  adversity  she  says  :  — 

"  But  a  storm  was  now  to  burst  over  the  work ; 
for  in  1856  when  the  second  house  was  filled  with 
invalids,  and  the  Lord  was  working  mightily  we 
were  fined  sixty  francs,  and  were  ordered  to  send 
away  all  the  patients  by  a  certain  time.  Though 
it  was  the  most  grevious  day  of  my  life  I  obeyed 
the  command ;  but  the  houses  so  hastily  emptied, 
filled  as  fast  as  ever  with  the  blind,  the  lame,  and 
the  deaf,  for  whom  the  Lord  did  great  things. 
Evil  spirits  were  cast  out  of  some  of  the  invalids 
by  prayer,  and  the  sufferer  became  instantly  free. 
Many  were  delivered  from  the  power  of  darkness 
which  had  been  exercised  over  their  minds,  though 
less  visibly  and  outwardly  and  received  what  we 
consider  the  highest  and  best  blessing,  that  of 
being  changed  from  wolves  into  lambs." 

In  1 861  a  second  persecution  was  raised  against 
this  most  saintly  and  inoffensive  woman.  At  the 
instigation  of  a  physician,  the  magistrates  imposed 
a  heavy  fine  upon  her,  and  ordered  her  patients  to 
be  sent  away.  Then,  through  appeal  to  a  higher 
tribunal,  her  case  was  brought  into  court,  and  the 
world  was  made  acquainted  through  the  testimo- 
ny of  scores  of  living  witnesses,  with  the  won- 
derful work  which  God  had  wrought  through  her 

Mr.  Spondlin  an  eminent  advocate  of  Zurich 


volunteered  to  conduct  her  case;  Prelate  Von 
Kopff,  Prof.  Tholuck  and  many  others  were  wit- 
nesses on  her  behalf,  and  the  result  was  that  she 
was  fully  acquitted  and  left  undisturbed  in  her  gra- 
cious work.  Henceforth  her  house  which  had  too 
often  through  the  malice  of  enemies  been  a  Betha- 
ven  "  house  of  affliction,"  became  only  a  Bethesda 
"house  of  mercy."  If  her  own  simple  record, 
confirmed  by  the  word  of  scores  who  bore  testi- 
mony at  her  trial,  could  prove  that  miracles  of  heal- 
ing were  wrought  in  her  house,  the  fact  must  be 
considered  as  established. 

With  a  deep  conviction  that  sin  is  often  the  hid- 
den root  of  sickness,  she  dealt  most  earnestly  with 
the  souls  of  her  patients.  "Confess  your  faults 
one  to  another  and  pray  one  for  another  that  ye 
may  be  healed"  was  an  injunction  that  had  a  deeply 
practical  meaning  to  her,  and  often  conviction  and 
conversion  were  the  first  symptoms  of  physical 

"  On  one  occasion  a  young  artisan  arrived,  in 
whom  cancer  had  made  such  progress  as  to  render 
any  approach  to  him  almost  unbearable.  At  the 
Bible  lessons  this  once  frivolous  man,  now  an  ear- 
nest inquirer,  learned  where  the  improvement 
must  begin ;  and  from  the  day  that  he  confessed 
his  sins  against  God  and  man,  the  disease  abated 


Some  time  afterwards  he  acknowledged  one  sin  he 
had  hitherto  concealed,  and  then  he  speedily  re- 
covered his  bodily  health  and  returned  to  his  home 
cured  in  spirit  also." 

In  some  instances  her  prayers  and  her  eager 
seeking  for  the  will  of  God  were  long  continued  be- 
fore any  sign  of  recovery  was  manifested,  in  others 
healing  was  vouchsafed  at  once. 

"  A  lady  in  S.  had  so  injured  her  knee  by  a  fall, 
that  for  weeks  she  lay  in  the  greatest  agony.  The 
doctor  declared  that  dropsy  would  supervene,  but 
the  heavenly  physician  fulfilled  those  promises 
which  will  abide  until  the  end  of  the  world,  and  by 
prayer  and  the  laying  on  of  Dorothea's  hands,  the 
knee  was  cured  in  twenty-four  hours,  and  the  swell- 
ing vanished." 

One  giving  an  account  of  her  arraignment 
says : — 

"  During  the  course  of  the  trial,  authenticated 
cures  were  brought  forward,  it  is  said,  to  the  num- 
ber of  some  hundreds.  There  was  one  of  a  stiff 
knee,  that  had  been  treated  in  vain  by  the  best 
physicians  in  France,  Germany,  and  Switzerland; 
and  one  of  an  elderly  man  who  could  not  walk, 
and  had  also  been  given  up  by  his  physicians,  but 
who    soon   dispensed    with    his    crutches ;    a   man 


came  with  a  burned  foot,  and  the  surgeons  said  it 
was  a  case  for  "  either  amputation  or  death,"  and 
he  also  was  cured ;  one  of  the  leading  physicians 
of  Wurtemburg  testified  to  the  cure  of  a  hopeless 
patient  of  his  own ;  another  remained  six  weeks, 
and  says  he  saw  all  kinds  of  sicknesses  healed.  Can- 
cer and  fever  have  been  treated  with  success  ;  epi- 
lepsy and  insanity  more  frequently  than  any  other 
forms  of  disease." 

Such  was  the  ministry  of  healing  and  comfort 
carried  on  by  this  holy  woman  till  the  day  when 
she  fell  asleep  in  Jesus,  and  such  was  the  blessed 
example  which  she  left  behind  her. 

Travellers  tell  us  of  a  deep  and  secluded  lake  in 
Switzerland  in  whose  crystal  mirror  the  reflection 
of  distant  mountains  may  be  seen,  though  the 
mountains  themselves  are  not  visible  to  the  eye. 
In  the  tranquil,  hidden  life  of  this  Swiss  peasant 
girl,  the  image  of  the  invisible  Saviour  was  clearly 
mirrored,  and  how  many  of  those  who  knew  her  in 
life,  and  of  those  who  have  read  the  story  of  her 
consecration  since  her  death  have  therefrom  caught 
a  reflected  glimpse  of  the  unseen  Redeemer,  and 
been  quickened  with  new  love  to  him,  and  a  new 
sense  of  his  present  power. 

Samuel  Zeller  took  up  the  work  at  Mannedorf  as 
it  dropped  from  the  dead  hands  of  sister  Dorothea. 
He  is  the  son  of  the  founder  of  a  well-known  boys' 


reformatory  at  Beuggen,  near  Basle,  and  brother- 

in-law  of  Gobat,  late  bishop  at  Jerusalem.  He 
had  been  a  co-laborer  at  the  home  before  the  death 
of  its  founder,  and  with  much  prayer  that  the  gifts 
of  faith  and  of  healing  might  rest  upon  him  she 
had  committed  the  work  to  his  care.  Since  her 
death  the  institution  has  continued  with  no  appar- 
ent loss  of  power  or  usefulness  under  his  direction, 
he  being  aided  by  Miss  Zeller,  his  sister,  and  by 
several  devoted  assistants.  All  the  helpers,  even 
to  the  servants,  render  their  service  as  a  labor  of 
love,  in  grateful  return  in  most  cases  for  the  re- 
covery which  they  have  received  at  this  home. 

Mr.  Zeller  is  a  fervent  evangelist,  going  out  in 
every  direction  preaching  the  word,  as  well  as 
laboring  "  in  season  out  of  season  "  for  the  souls 
and  bodies  of  those  who  come  under  his  care. 
From  two  houses  the  home  has  grown  to  ten,  and 
they  are  always  filled  with  patients,  from  many 
nations.  The  same  methods  are  employed  as  un- 
der his  predecessor.  He  lays  hands  upon  the  sick  ; 
he  anoints  with  oil  in  the  name  of  the  Lord,  and 
pleads  the  promise  given  in  James,  5th  chapter ; 
and  his  reports  published  year  by  year  are  full  of 
striking  instances  alike  of  healing  and  of  conver- 

OF  EXPERIENCE.  1 5  7 

He  entertains  no  extravagant  views  of  his 
mission.  Holding  most  tenaciously  to  the  per- 
petuity of  the  promise :  "  The  prayer  of  faith 
shall  save  the  sick"  he  yet  strongly  recognizes 
the  sovereignty  of  God  in  the  answer.  To  the 
question  asked  by  a  recent  visitor,  whether  it  is 
not  God's  will  that  all  his  children  should  be 
free  from  sickness,  he  replied  that  it  is  evidently 
the  Father's  will  that  some  should  overcome 
sickness,  and  he  quoted  significantly  the  words 
of  Heb.  xi.  chap. :  Some,  "  through  faith,  sub- 
dued kingdoms,  wrought  righteousness,  obtained 
promises,  stopped  the  mouths  of  lions,  quenched 
the  violence  of  fire,  escaped  the  edge  of  the 
sword,  out  of  weakness  were  made  strong,  waxed 
valiant  in  fight,  turned  to  flight  the  armies  of 
the  aliens ;  Women  received  their  dead  raised 
to  life  again;  and  others  were  tortured,  not 
accepting  deliverance,  that  they  might  obtain 
a  better  resurrection.  And  others  had  trial  of 
cruel  mockings  and  scourgings,  yea,  moreover  of 
bonds  and  imprisonment.  They  were  stoned, 
they  were  sawn  asunder,  were  tempted,  were  slain 
with  the  sword ;  they  wandered  about  in  sheep- 
skins and  goat  skins,  being  destitute,  afflicted,  tor- 


mented  (of  whom  the  world  was  not  worthy)  ;  they 
wandered  in  deserts,  and  in  mountains,  and  in  dens 
and  caves  of  the  earth.  And  these  all  having 
obtained  a  good  report  through  faith,"  &c. 

A  visit  to  this  home  was  made  a  few  years  since 
by  several  eminent  German  preachers  and  profes- 
sors, and  when  one  of  these  was  asked  his  opinion  of 
the  work  he  answered;  "Where  the  Holy  Spirit 
speaks  with  so  much  power,  we  can  do  no  other 
wise  than  listen  to  his  teaching ;  critical  analysis 
is  out  of  the  question."  A  quiet  and  deep  spirit- 
ual life,  a  profound  faith  in  the  promises  of  God, 
and  a  humble  and  self-denying  surrender  to  his 
word  and  will  are  the  traits  which  have  character- 
ized the  work  from  the  beginning  until  the  present 
time.  The  cases  of  recovery  at  Mannedorf  are  so 
fully  given  in  the  report  of  the  home  that  we  need 
not  here  reproduce  them. 

Pastor  Blumhardt  exercising  his  ministry  in  the 
small  Lutheran  village  of  Mottlingen,  in  the  heart 
of  the  Black  Forest  in  Germany  is  another,  who 
was  greatly  honored  of  God  in  his  prayers  of  faith. 
He  died  quite  recently,  but  during  many  years 
of  his  active  pastorate  he  was  credited  with  extra- 
ordinary grace  in  praying  for  the  sick.     Like  otlv 


ers  of  whom  we  have  spoken  he  had  the  ministry 
of  healing  thrust  upon  him.  He  first  became 
known  for  his  unusual  consecration,  and  for  his 
zeal  and  ability  in  stirring  up  formal  Christians  to 
renewed  activity.  He  prayed  for  the  diseased  with 
such  efficacy,  and  such  well  attested  cures  were 
reported  from  his  intercessions,  that  very  soon  he 
was  resorted  to  by  the  suffering  from  every  direc- 
tion. His  home  and  neighborhood  became  a  hos- 
pital, where  not  only  invalids,  but  sorrowing  and 
sin-sick  souls  came  for  counsel  and  help.  One 
writing  of  him  says,  "as  regards  Blumhardt  and 
his  work,  it  may  emphatically  be  said  that  the 
pleasure  of  the  Lord  prospered  in  his  hands."  He 
seems  to  have  taken  no  pains  to  report  his  success, 
having  evidently  learned  the  secret  that  "the  way 
to  have  a  strong  faith  is  to  think  nothing  of  your- 
self." But  others  praised  him  if  not  his  own  lips, 
and  he  became  widely  known  throughout  his  coun- 
try as  a  pastor  who  considered  the  sick  bodies  of 
his  flock  to  be  under  his  ministration  as  well  as 
the  sick  souls. 

We  give  one  instance  from  the  life  of  Blumhardt, 
to  show  the  vast  influence  which  a  striking  exhibi- 
tion of  miraculous  power  may  exert  upon  the  spir- 
itual life  of  a  people. 


On  commencing  his  ministry  in  Mottlingen  he 
found  the  place  fearfully  given  over  to  infidelity 
and  sensuality.  As  his  fervent  preaching  began 
to  tell  upon  the  community,  Satan  seemed  to  come 
in,  with  great  wrath  to  resist  him.  A  case  occurred 
in  the  village  which  exactly  resembled  the  instances 
of  demoniacal  possession  recorded  in  scripture.  The 
woman  thus  afflicted  endured  the  most  excruciating 
agony.  The  Pastor  being  called  in  was  quite  appalled, 
having  never  seen  anything  of  the  kind ;  and  in  his 
perplexity  was  inclined  to  be  excused  from  inter- 
fering with  it.  But  some  of  his  brethren  in  the 
Church  who  had  listened  to  his  strong  utterances 
on  the  subject  of  the  prayer  of  faith,  came  to  him 
saying.  "  If  you  do  not  wish  to  shake  our  belief 
in  your  preaching  you  cannot  retreat  before  the 
evil  one."  After  a  moment's  thought,  and  silent 
prayer  he  answered  :  "  You  are  right ;  but  to  be  in 
accord  with  the  word  of  God  you  must  also  unite 
with  me  in  supplication  according  to  James  v :  14." 
What  followed  appears  from  the  following  account 
by  his  friend  Pastor  Spittler.     He  says :  — 

"  Kindly  permit  me  not  to  mention  in  this  place 
the  frightful  details  of  her  sufferings.  The  medi- 
cal man  who  attended  the  person  was  perfectly  at 
a  loss  as  to  the  case.     He  said,  '  Is  there  no  cler 


gyman  in  this  village  who  can  pray  ?  I  can  do 
nothing  here.'  The  minister  (Blumhardt)  who  had 
then  the  spiritual  care  of  the  village  felt  the  force 
of  such  a  reproach,  joined  as  it  was  to  that  of  his 
believing  people.  He  went  to  the  house  in  the 
strength  of  faith.  The  more  frightful  the  mani- 
festations of  the  destroying  power  of  Satan  be- 
came, with  the  more  unshaken  faith  in  the  all-over- 
coming power  of  the  living  God,  that  pastor  con- 
tinued to  struggle  against  the  assaults  of  the 
infernal  powers,  till  at  last,  after  a  tremendous 
outcry  of  the  words,  f Jesus  is  Victor !  Jesus  is 
Victor  ! '  heard  almost  throughout  the  whole  little 
village,  the  person  found  herself  freed  from  all  the 
dreadful  chains  under  which  she  had  sighed  so  long, 
and  often  come  to  the  very  brink  of  death." 

"  That  voice,  '  Jesus  is  Victor  ! '  sounded  like  a 
trumpet  of  God  through  the  village.  After  a 
week  one  man  of  very  loose  and  deceitful  charac- 
ter, whom  the  pastor  on  that  account  felt  almost 
afraid  of  approaching,  came  trembling  and  pale  to 
Blumhardt  into  his  study,  and  said,  '  Sir,  is  it  then 
possible  that  /  can  be  pardoned  and  saved  ?  I 
have  not  slept  for  a  whole  week,  and  if  my  heart 
be  not  eased,  it  will  kill  me.'  He  made  an  aston- 
ishing confession  of  iniquity,  which  for  the  first 
time  opened  the  pastor's  eyes  to  the  multitude  and 
enormity  of  sins  prevailing  among  the  people. 
The  pastor  prayed  with  him  and  put  Christ  before 
him,  in  his  readiness  to  pardon  even  the  vilest  of 
sinners  that  would  come  to  him  for  mercy.  When 
the  man  seemed  completely  cast  down  and  almost 
in  despair,  Blumhardt  found  it  his  duty,  as  an  am- 
bassador of  Christ,  solemnly  to  assure  him  of  God's 
mercy  in  Jesus  Christ ;  and  lo !  immediately  his 


countenance  was  changed,  beaming  with  joy  and 

"The  first  thing  which  the  man  now  did  was  to 
go  to  his  fellow-sinners,  from  cottage  to  cottage, 
and  tell  them  what  he  had  just  experienced.  First 
they  were  astonished,  and  could  not  understand 
it;  yet  they  saw  the  marvellous  change  in  him. 
He  urged  them  to  go  to  the  minister  about  their 
souls ;  some  he  even  dragged  as  it  were  in  triumph 
to  the  manse,  till  about  twenty  persons  were  in  the 
same  way  convinced  of  sin,  and  found  grace  and 
forgiveness  in  Jesus."* 

Then  follows  the  account  of  a  most  gracious  and 
wide-spread  revival.  The  whole  village  became  a 
Bochim.  With  tears  and  lamentations  the  people 
came  confessing  their  sins,  and  inquiring  the  way 
of  escape  from  the  wrath  of  God  that  was  resting 
upon  them.  The  Pastor's  house  was  besieged  from 
morning  to  night  with  penitents,  so  that  within 
two  months,  as  he  declared,  there  were  not  twenty 
persons  in  the  place  who  had  not  come  to  him  be- 
wailing their  sins  and  finding  peace  in  Jesus 
Christ.  The  transformation  which  resulted  was 
hardly  less  wonderful  than  that  which  occurred 
in  Kidderminster  under  the  preaching  of  Richard 
Baxter.  The  story  gives  a  most  striking  indica- 
tion of  what  might  result  even  now,  under  the 
preaching  of  the  gospel  "with  signs  following." 

*  PMtor  BlumhawU  and  His  Work.  —  London.     Morgan  and  Scott. 


"  The  soul  is  the  life  of  the  body ;  faith  is  the 
life  of  the  soul ;  Christ  is  the  life  of  faith  "  —  so 
wrote  the  good  John  Flavel ;  and  thus  he  traced 
very  obviously  and  directly  the  course  through 
which  Christ  the  Redeemer  acts  upon  the  human 

Pastor  Otto  Stockmayer  might  be  fitly  named, 
the  theologian  of  the  doctrine  of  healing  by  faith. 
He  has  given  some  very  subtle,  not  to  say  bold  and 
startling  expositions  of  the  relation  of  sin  and  sick- 
ness. "  The  soul  is  the  life  of  the  body,"  and  the 
Lord  does  not  intend  that  his  saving  and  sanctifying 
ministry  shall  stop  with  the  regeneration  and  re- 
newal of  the  soul,  is  Stockmayer's  strongly  asserted 
doctrine.  Attaching  great  weight  to  the  words  of 
Scripture  which  declare  that  Christ,  "healed  all 
that  were  sick  that  it  might  be  fulfilled  which  was 
spoken  by  Esaias  the  prophet  saying,  himself  took 
our  infirmities  and  bare  our  sicknesses"  he  rea- 
sons that  if  our  Redeemer  bore  our  sicknesses  it 
is  not  his  will  that  his  children  should  remain  un- 
der the  power  of  disease,  any  more  than  that 
having  borne  our  sins  it  is  his  will  that  they  should 
remain  under  condemnation  and  disobedience.  He 
says:  — 


"  Once  understanding  that  it  is  not  the  will  of  God 
that  his  children  should  be  sick  (James  v:  14-18), 
and  that  Christ  has  redeemed  us  from  our  sickness 
as  from  our  sins,  (Matt  viii:  16,  17),  we  can  no 
longer  look  upon  healing  as  a  right  which  it  would 
be  lawful  for  us  to  renounce.  It  is  no  longer  a 
question  whether  we  wish  to  be  healed,  God's  will 
must  be  fulfilled  in  our  bodies  as  well  as  in  our 
souls.  Our  beloved  Lord  must  not  be  robbed  of  a 
part  of  the  heritage  of  his  agony. 

It  is  by  virtue  of  a  divine  will  that  the  offering 
of  the  body  of  Jesus  Christ  has  sanctified  us  (Heb. 
x:  10),  which  means  that  Christ  by  his  death  has 
withdrawn  the  members  of  our  body,  with  our 
entire  being,  from  every  sacrilegious  end  or  use. 
He  has  regained  and  consecrated  them  for  his  own 
exclusive  and  direct  use. 

Wrested  by  Christ's  ransom  from  all  foreign 
power,  from  the  power  of  sin  or  of  sickness  or  of 
the  devil,  our  members  must  remain  intact,  sur- 
rendered to  him  who  has  redeemed  them. 

"Let  my  people  go  "  was  God's  word  to  Pharaoh, 
and  such  is  God's  command  to  sin  and  sickness, 
and  to  Satan  :  "  Let  my  people  go  that  they  may 
serve  me. 

Thus  God's  children  must  not  seek  the  healing 
of  the  body  without  taking  at  the  same  time  by 
faith,  all  the  new  position  which  Christ's  redemp- 
tion gives  us — and  which  is  expressed  in  these 
words  of  Moses  to  Pharaoh:  or  better  still  in 
Paul's  words  (2  Cor.  v:  14,  15),  which  amounts  to 
this  —  Nothing  more  for  self,  but  all  for  Christ. 
Before  seeking  freedom  from  sickness  we  must  lay 
hold  of  the  moral  freedom  which  the  Redemption 
of  Christ  has  obtained  for  us,  and  by  which  we  arc 


cut  off  from  any  self-seekiag :  from  the  seeking  of 
our  own  will,  our  own  life,  our  own  interests,  or 
our  own  glory.  Our  members  are  henceforth 
Christ's,  and  neither  for  ourselves  or  for  our  mem- 
bers, but  for  Christ  and  for  his  members  we  desire 
health.    We  knew  none  other  but  Christ." 

This  in  brief  is  the  doctrine  of  Pastor  Stock- 
mayer  as  set  forth  in  a  tract  entitled  "Sickness  and 
the  Gospel,"*  which  has  passed  through  many  edi- 
tions and  been  very  widely  read.  As  the  minister 
of  a  Christian  flock  his  practice  has  conformed  to 
his  teaching.  He  has  used  the  same  methods  as 
those  employed  at  Mannedorf ;  and  he  has  now  a 
home  in  Hauptwiel  Thurgan  Switzerland  for  the 
reception  of  such  as  desire  to  be  healed  through 

Pastor  Rein  is  another  of  the  same  group  of 
primitive  teachers  and  ministers.  He  was  greatly 
esteemed  while  living,  and  it  is  only  a  few  years 
since  he  fell  asleep.  He  began  his  service  in 
the  gospel  as  a  decided  formalist.  But  shutting 
himself  up  to  the  Bible  and  determining  to  shape 
his  ministry  rigidly  by  its  teachings  without  regard 
to  tradition,  a  great  change  came  over  him.  He 
now  abandoned  the  habit  of  reading  prayers  at  the 
bedside  of  the  sick,  and  began  to  pour  out  petf 

*  Partridge  and  Co.,  I/andou. 


tions  directly  from  the  heart.  Later  he  felt  con- 
strained to  use  the  practise  of  laying  hands  on 
them  while  praying,  according  to  the  word  of  the 
Lord  in  Mark  xvi  Still  later  he  began  to  anoint 
with  oil  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  in  connection 
with  his  praying  for  the  sick,  carrying  out  strictly 
the  directions  given  in  the  Epistle  of  James.  His 
ministry  seems  to  have  been  as  conspicuous  for  its 
humility  as  for  its  zeal  and  consecration  ;  and  dili- 
gent care  for  the  welfare  of  others  so  marked  his 
course,  that  he  may  be  said  to  have  illustrated  the 
maxim  that  "  true  humility  consists  not  so  much 
in  thinking  meanly  of  ourselves  as  in  not  thinking 
of  ourselves  at  all." 

From  a  very  tender  tribute  to  his  life  which 
recently  appeared  we  make  the  following  extract :  * 

"When  sick  people  were  brought  to  him  he  re- 
ceived them  as  sent  by  the  Lord.  Much  blessing 
and  consolation  was  found  in  the  silence  and  retire- 
ment of  the  simple  cure  of  Pastor  Rein.  He  loved 
to  work  for  the  kingdom  of  God  in  self-renuncia- 
tion, and  always  in  silence,  without  show,  and  he 
always  shrank  from  being  spoken  of.  Oh  how 
blessed  it  is  when  the  word  of  God  accompanied 
with  prayer  is  used  as  the  medicine  of  the  body  as 
well  as  soul. 

Rein    never  employed    a    doctor,   believing  in 

•  See  Israel's  Watchman,  Aug.  187& 


the  words  of  Exodus  xv :  26.  "  I  am  the  Lord  that 
healeth  thee,"  or  as  it  is  in  many  translations  "  I 
am  the  Lord  thy  physician.  When  he  was  ill  the 
elders  of  his  Church  or  his  friends  laid  hands  on 
him,  and  prayed  over  him,  and  he  was  always  bet- 
ter than  if  he  had  taken  medicine ;  he  was  kept  in 
a  greater  calm,  and  his  communion  with  God  was 
not  interrupted  by  the  doctors'  visits,  and  by  the 
continual  occupation  of  punctually  following  their 
directions.  He  lived  in  such  intimate  relation  with 
God  that  he  asked  him  for  all  he  wanted,  the  great- 
est and  the  least  things  alike.  This  was  why  he 
could  not  except  even  healing,  and  he  shrunk  from 
seeking  any  help  but  that  which  came  directly 
from  God. 

He  was  jealous  for  God  that  he  alone  should 
have  the  glory.  That  which  grieved  him  deeply 
was  to  see  how  little  glory  is  given  to  God  in  gene- 
ral, and  especially  in  the  cure  of  illness,  which  is 
attributed  generally  to  doctors  or  to  medicine. 
Thus  he  would  not  allow  any  remedy  to  come  be- 
tween him  and  his  God,  and  he  rejoiced  with  all 
his  heart  when  he  saw  others  leave  the  old  track 
of  this  world's  laws  of  prudence,  to  follow  the  path 
of  an  obedient  and  unreserved  faith. 

When  he  prayed  over  and  laid  hands  on  the  sick 
he  watched  attentively  for  a  knowledge  of  God's 
will  regarding  the  person  whom  he  was  occu- 
pied with,  and  always  besought  him  to  reveal  t<? 
him,  whether  the  sickness  was  unto  death,  or 
whether  it  was  rather  a  merciful  visitation,  sent  to 
lead  the  subject  of  it  to  reflection;  and  he  prayed 

This  confidence  in  God,  which  made  him  re- 
nounce all  human  means  in  illness,  caused  him  to 


be  much  criticised.  But  we  must  say  to  his  honor, 
that  Rein  was  extremely  charitable  towards  others, 
never  seeking  to  put  a  yoke  upon  them  or  to  lay 
down  the  law  to  them,  in  that  which  he  looked 
upon  as  a  permission,  a  precious  grace  from  on 

He  never  regarded  it  as  a  sin  in  any  one  to  take 
medicine,  or  to  consult  a  doctor,  when  they  had 
not  the  special  faith  to  do  without  them ;  a  faith 
which  very  precious  as  it  is,  is  not  necessary  for 
salvation.  Who  can  find  fault  with  such  as  de- 
clare, like  Rein,  that  they  cannot  do  otherwise  than 
commit  themselves  solely  to  God  in  all  things, 
even  for  bodily  health,  and  that  they  esteem  as 
happy  those  who  can  do  the  same. 

He  was  actuated  by  a  holy  jealousy,  when  he 
heard  the  signs  which  should  follow  them  that 
believe,  (Mark  xvi :  17,  18),  spoken  of  as  belong- 
ing only  to  Apostolic  times,  instead  of  its  being 
recognized,  that  it  is  owing  to  the  decline  of  faith 
that  these  signs  no  longer  exist.  It  has  been  said 
that  "  Faith  is  God's  power  placed  at  mans  dispo- 
sition." So  he  believed,  and  on  this  principle  he 

Several  interesting  incidents  of  recovery  under 
his  prayers  are  given  in  connection  with  this  sketch 
of  his  life,  but  they  are  of  the  same  type  as  those 
elsewhere  recorded,  and  we  will  not  reproduce 

Among  other  Evangelists  and  pastors  abroad, 
who  hold  the  same  faith  and  practice  as  these  we 
may  mention  Lord  Radstock  of  England.     A  very 


devoted  and  deeply  spiritual  man  he  is  known  to 
be  by  all  who  have  come  in  contact  with  him. 
And  many  who  have  never  seen  him  have  read 
with  interest  of  his  evangelistic  work  among 
the  higher  ranks  especially  in  Russia  and  Sweden. 
Writing  to  the  London  "Christian"  concerning 
his  work  in  the  latter  country,  he  sends  reports  of 
several  very  striking  instances  of  cure  in  answer 
to  prayer  and  says  :  — 

"  One  interesting  feature  of  the  Lord's  grace  in 
Stockholm  is  the  obedience  of  faith  with  which 
several  pastors  and  elder  brethren  have  accepted 
their  privilege  of  anointing  the  sick  and  praying 
over  them  in  the  name  of  the  Lord.  There  have 
been  many  remarkable  instances  of  God's  gracious 
healing.  I  enclose  details  of  a  few  cases,  that 
God's  children  may  be  encouraged  to  see  that  God 
Vias  not  withdrawn  the  promise  in  James  v :  15, 
and  that  it  is  better  to  trust  in  the  Lord  than  to 
put  confidence  in  man." 

In  America  there  are  several  homes  for  healing 
conducted  on  the  same  principle  as  that  of  Miss 
Trudel.  Quite  a  number  of  them  are  under  the 
direction  of  pious  women,  who  have  learned  the 
secret  of  the  prayer  of  faith.  We  have  only  space 
to  refer  to  one  work  which  is  most  widely  known 
through  its  published  reports,  and  of  which,  from 


his  near  neighborhood  to  it,  the  writer  has  had  an 
excellent  opportunity  to  judge. 

Dr.  Charles  Cullis  is  at  the  head  of  what  is 
known  as  the  "Faith- work"  in  the  City  of  Boston 
The  work  has  many  branches,  the  Consumptive's 
Home;  the  Willard  Tract  Repository;  homes  foi 
children;  city  mission  work;  foreign  missionary 
work;  schools  among  the  freedmen,  etc.,  all  main- 
tained upon  the  same  principle  virtually  as  the 
orphan  work  of  Pastor  George  Muller,  at  Bristol 
in  England.  Any  one  who  has  been  made  ac- 
quainted with  a  single  department  of  this  enter- 
prise, as  for  example,  that  of  the  Consumptive's 
Home,  can  have  no  doubt  as  to  the  most  beneficent 
and  Christ-like  character  of  the  labors  there  carried 

Dr.  Cullis  has  for  several  years  been  accustomed 
when  applied  to,  to  minister  to  the  sick  in  the 
manner  above  described.  And  there  are  among 
us  many  unimpeachable  witnesses  to  the  answers 
which  have  been  granted  for  the  recovery  from 
disease.  The  writer  is  well  acquainted  with  quite 
a  number  of  these,  some  of  several  years'  standing, 
and  has  no  hesitation  in  saying  that  they  bear 
every  evidence  of  genuineness.     How  Dr.  Cullis 


was  led  to  exercise  this  ministry  is  best  told  in  his 
own  words  which  we  extract  from  his  published 
report  called  "  Faith  cures." 

"For  several  years  my  mind  had  been  exercised 
before  God  as  to  whether  it  was  not  his  will  that 
the  work  of  faith  in  which  he  had  placed  me, 
should  extend  to  the  cure  of  disease,  as  well  as 
the  alleviation  of  the  miseries  of  the  afflicted.  I 
often  read  the  instructions  and  promise  contained 
in  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  verses  of  the  fifth 
chapter  of  the  epistle  of  James." 

They  seemed  so  very  plain,  that  I  often  asked  of 
my  own  heart,  why,  if  I  can  rely  on  God's  word, 
"whatsoever  ye  shall  ask  in  my  name,  that  will  I 
do,"  and  every  day  verify  its  truth  in  the  supply  of 
the  daily  needs  of  the  various  work  committed  to 
my  care,  —  why  can  not  I  also  trust  him  to  fulfil 
his  promises  as  to  the  healing  of  the  body.  "  The 
prayer  of  faith  shall  save  the  sick,  and  the  Lord 
shall  raise  him  up  ?  I  could  not  see  why  with 
such  explicit  and  unmistakable  promises,  I  should 
limit  the  present  exercise  of  God's  power.  I  be- 
gan to  inquire  of  earnest  Christians  whether  they 
knew  of  any  instances  of  answer  to  prayer  for  the 
healing  of  the  body.  Soon  afterwards  the  "Life  of 
Dorothea  Trudell"  fell  into  my  hands,  which 
strengthened  my  convictions,  and  the  inquiry 
arose,  "If  God  can  perform  such  wonders  in  Man- 
nedorf,  why  not  in  Boston  ?  " 

At  this  time  I  had  under  my  professional  care 
a  Christian  lady,  with  a  tumor  which  confined  her 
almost  continuomsly  to  her  bed  in  severe  suffering. 
All  remedies  were  unavailing,  and  the  only  human 
hope  was  the  knife :  but  feeling  in  my  heart  the 


power  of  the  promise,  I  one  morning  sat  down  by 
her  bedside,  and  taking  up  the  Bible,  I  read  aloud 
God's  promise  to  his  believing  children ;  "  and  the 
prayer  of  faith  shall  save  the  sick,  and  the  Lord 
shall  faise  him  up  ;  and  if  he  have  cotnmitted  sins, 
they  shall  be  forgiven  him** 

"  I  then  asked  her  if  she  would  trust  the  Lord  to 
remove  this  tumor  and  restore  her  to  health,  and 
to  her  missionary  work.  She  replied  '  I  have  no 
particular  faith  about  it,  but  am  willing  to  trust  the 
Lord  for  it.' 

I  then  knelt  and  anointed  her  with  oil  in  the 
name  of  the  Lord,  asking  him  to  fulfil  his  own 
word.  Soon  after  I  left,  she  got  up  and  walked 
three  miles.  From  that  time  the  tumor  rapidly 
lessened,  until  all  trace  of  it  at  length  disappeared. ' 

The  work  thus  begun  has  gone  on  now,  for  quite 
a  number  of  years,  and  we  think  there  can  be  no 
reasonable  doubt  that  in  Boston  as  well  as  in  Man- 
nedorf  and  in  Mottlingen  there  has  been  a  living 
and  repeated  demonstration  that  God  is  still  pleased 
to  recover  the  sick  directly  and  manifestly  in  an- 
swer to  his  people's  intercessions. 

If  these  things  be  so,  can  any  say  that  we  have 
not  reason  to  praise  God  and  rejoice  with  new  joy 
in  him  :  — 

"Who  forgiveth  all  thine  iniquities, 
Who  healeth  all  thy  diseases.?" 

"Any  explanation  but  the  admission  of  the  mi- 
raculous "  is  the  cry  which  an  unbelieving  world 


raises  when  anything  wonderful  happens.  And 
Christians  more  solicitous  for  their  caution  than  for 
their  faith,  have  sometimes  joined  in  the  cry.  And 
thus  the  seal  of  the  supernatural  has  been  assidu- 
ously witheld  we  fear,  where  it  should  have  been 
permitted  to  place  its  impress  and  testimony.  But 
we  do  not,  so  much  call  attention  to  these  instances 
of  healing  as  to  these  examples  of  faith.  There 
may  be  mistakes  in  the  estimates  put  upon  the 
cures,  but  can  there  be  any  in  the  sure  word  of 
promise  ?  If  any  of  these  testimonies  of  recovery 
should  prove  ill-founded,  it  would  only  demonstrate 
the  ignorance  of  men.  But  God  hath  in  the  last 
days  spoken  to  us  by  his  Son  and  "he  that  receiveth 
his  testimony  hath  set  to  his  seal  that  God  is  true** 



"  One  thing  I  know,  that  whereas  I  was  blind  J 
now  see."  This  confession  of  experience  has  al- 
ways been  regarded  as  the  strongest  that  can  be 
made.  The  "  I  know  "  indeed  may  seem  to  savor 
of  egotism  and  assurance.  But  let  us  not  forget 
that  while  the  egotism  of  opinion  is  always  offen- 
sive, the  egotism  of  experience  can  never  be  re- 
buked. It  is  the  highest  attainment  of  mere 
human  thought  and  speculation  to  know  that  one 
does  not  know.  Hence  very  fittingly  we  have  the 
culture  of  our  age  graduating  in  agnosticism, 
which  is  knowledge  culminating  in  ignorance,  as 
the  highest  mountain  peaks  are  lost  in  the  clouds. 
On  the  other  hand,  when  we  read  the  opening 
words  of  John's  first  epistle,  "That  which  we  have 
heard,  which  we  have  seen  with  our  eyes,  which 
we  have  looked  upon,  and  our  hands  have  handled 
of  the  word  of  life,"  we  are  not  surprised  at  the 
writer's  constant  use  of  the  words  "  we  know,"  or 
that  he  is  able  to  say  "Hereby  we  do  know  that  we 
know  him" 

OF  THE  HEALED.  175 

Experience  is  the  surest  touch-stone  of  truth. 
It  is  not  always  infallible,  indeed ;  especially 
when  it  deals  with  our  spiritual  states  and 
conditions.  For  these  are  often  deceptive  and 
difficult  to  interpret.  But  certainly  one  ought  to 
know  when  an  infirmity  which  has  long  oppressed 
the  body  has  been  removed,  or  when  a  pain  that 
has  incessantly  tortured  the  nerves  has  ceased. 
This  is  a  kind  of  testimony  which  is  not  easily 
ruled  out  of  court. 

And  there  are  many  who  stand  ready  to  give  in 
this  witness.  Ought  we  to  refuse  to  hear  it,  or  to 
dismiss  it  as  visionary  and  idle  talk?  We  are 
quite  accustomed  to  accept  what  we  call  a  religious 
experience  as  a  test  of  fitness  for  church  member- 
ship. Is  it  less  difficult  to  recognize  and  interpret 
a  physical  experience? 

Let  us  listen  to  the  statements  of  some  who 
have  told  the  story  of  their  bodily  healing.  We 
cite  as  our  first  example  that  of  Miss  Fancourt,  of 
London,  the  daughter  of  an  English  clergyman, 
whose  case  created  no  small  interest  at  the  time  of 
its  publication. 

The  story  of  her  sickness  is  too  long  to  be  given 
in  detail.     Suffice  it  to  say  that  she  was  attacked 


with  severe  hip  disease  in  Nov.,  1822.  From  this 
date  till  1828  she  was  a  constant  sufferer,  not  only 
from  the  disease  itself,  but  from  the  varied  oper- 
ations of  leeches,  blisters,  bleedings,  and  cuttings 
of  the  surgeon's  knife,  and  all  to  no  effect.  From 
this  period  onward  for  two  years  she  was  a  helpless 
cripple,  for  most  of  the  time  confined  to  her  bed. 
The  story  of  her  recovery  we  give  in  her  owr 
words : 

"Thus  it  continued  till  the  20th  of  October, 
1830,  when  a  kind  friend  who  had  seen  me  about 
two  months  before  had  been  led  by  God  to  pray 
earnestly  for  my  recovery,  remembering  what  is 
written,  '  Whatsoever  ye  shall  ask  in  prayer,  be* 
lieving,  ye  shall  receive.'  He  asked  in  faith,  and 
God  graciously  answered  his  prayer.  On  Wednes- 
day night,  my  friend  being  about  to  leave  the 
room,  Mr.  J.  begged  to  be  excused  a  short  time. 
Sitting  near  me,  we  talked  of  his  relations  and  of 
the  death  of  his  brother ;  rising,  he  said :  '  they 
will  expect  me  at  supper,'  and  put  out  his  hand. 
After  asking  some  questions  respecting  the  dis- 
ease, he  added, . '  it  is  melancholy  to  see  a  person 
so  constantly  confined.'  I  answered  '  it  is  sent  in 
mercy.'  '  Do  you  think  so  ?  Do  you  not  think 
the  same  mercy  could  restore  you  ? '  God  gave 
me  faith  and  I  answered  'yes.'  '  Do  you  believe 
Jesus  could  heal,  as  in  old  times?'  'Yes.'  'Do 
you  believe  it  is  only  unbelief  that  prevents  it  ? ' 
'  Yes.'  '  Do  you  believe  that  Jesus  could  heal  you 
at  this  very  time  ? '     '  Yes,  —Between  these  ques- 

OF  THE  HEALED.  1 77 

tions  he  was  evidently  engaged  in  prayer.  —  'Then ' 
he  added,  '  rise  up  and  walk :  come  down  to  your 
family.'  He  then  had  hold  of  my  hand  ;  he  prayed 
to  God  to  glorify  the  name  of  Jesus.  I  rose  from 
my  couch  quite  strong.  God  took  away  all  my 
pains,  and  we  walked  down  stairs,  Mr.  J.  praying 
most  fervently,  '  Lord  have  mercy  upon  us  ;  Christ 
have  mercy  on  us.'  Having  been  down  a  short 
time,  finding  my  handkerchief  left  on  the  couch, 
taking  the  candle  I  fetched  it.  The  next  day  I 
walked  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  mile ;  and  on 
Sunday  from  the  Episcopalian  chapel,  a  distance 
of  one  mile  and  a  quarter.  Up  to  this  time  God 
continues  to  strengthen  me,  and  I  am  perfectly 
well.     To  Jesus  be  all  the  glory.    Nov.  13,  1830."* 

We  have  the  added  information  that  this  long 

suffering  invalid  continued  to  be  well,  and  that  the 

story  of  her  healing,  so  soon  as  it  went  abroad, 

drew  down  upon  her  and  her  family  a  most  violent 

storm  of  ridicule  and  obloquy.      By  the  religious 

press  which  took  up  the   matter  the   story  was 

treated  as  a  gross  scandal  upon  the  Christian  faith, 

and  so  bitter  were  the  reflections  upon  the  parties 

involved  that  the  venerable  father  of   the   lady, 

though  hitherto  a  confessed  disbeliever  in  modern 

miracles,  felt  called  upon  to  publish  his  emphatic 

confirmation  of  the  story.     The  following  is  the 

statement  of  Rev.  Mr.  Fancourt : 

*  Mrs.  Oliphant's  Life  of  Edward  Irving,  p.  461, 


"Under  this  peculiar  dispensation  of  mercy 
there  rests  on  ray  mind  a  solemn  conviction  that 
the  glory  of  God  and  the  interest  of  religion  are 
deeply  involved  in  the  publicity  which  it  will  prob- 
ably acquire.  But  without  shrinking  from  the  re- 
sponsibility attached  to  the  declaration,  I  profess 
myself  ready  to  bear  my  open  testimony  to  a 
notable  fact,  namely;  that  as  I  view  it  God  has 
raised  an  impotent  cripple,  in  the  person  of  my 
youngest  daughter,  to  instantaneous  soundness  of  her 
bodily  limbs  by  faith  in  the  name  of  Jesus,  being 
taught  by  her  mother  church  to  know  and  feel  that 
there  is  none  other  name  under  heaven  given  to 
man  in  whom  and  through  whom  she  could  receive 
health  and  salvation,  but  only  the  name  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ.  In  this  faith,  through  the 
instrumentality  of  the  effectual  fervent  prayer  of 
a  righteous  man  (for  God  heareth  not  sinners), 
which  availeth  much,  God  has  done  exceeding 
abundantly  above  all  that  we  could  ask  or  think. 
I  am  aware  that  there  are  questions  of  difficult 
solution  as  to  the  instrumentality  by  which  the 
benefit  has  been  bestowed  ;  but  who  would  not 
tremble  at  the  fearful  conclusion  which  would  re- 
sult from  a  denial  of  the  divine  interposition  ? 
Deprecating  such  a  thought,  I  feel  persuaded  that 
they  are  most  on  the  side  of  truth  and  soberness 
who  unite  with  us  in  telling  the  church  that  God 
hath  done  great  things  for  us,  whereof  we  are  glad, 
which  in  their  first  communication  made  us  like 
them  that  dream." 

We  cannot  help  pausing  upon  the  lesson  sug- 
gested by  this  incident.  Strange,  it  might  be  said, 
that  the  sufferer  should  be  grudged  her  releas* 

OF  THE  HEALED.  1 79 

from  pain  and  helplessness.  If  a  supernatural 
cure  could  not  be  admitted,  it  would  seem  that  at 
least  none  would  envy  her  the  harmless  illusion. 
Yet  has  it  not  been  so  from  the  beginning  ?  "  We 
must  admit  any  solution  rather  than  a  miracle," 
said  the  "Christian  Observer,"  commenting  on 
this  cure.  And  we  remember  that  the  wise  Jews 
said  about  the  healing  of  another  cripple,  "that 
indeed  a  notable  miracle  has  been  done  by  them 
is  manifest  to  all  them  that  dwell  in  Jerusalem, 
and  we  cannot  deny  it"  as  if  to  say  "we  have  done 
our  best  to  disprove  it."  Evidently  our  Lord  an- 
ticipated this  treatment  of  miracles  of  healing 
when  he  introduced  them ;  for  he  said  "Go and  show 
John  again  those  things  which  ye  do  hear  and  see : 
the  blind  receive  their  sight  and  the  lame  walk, 
the  lepers  are  cleansed  and  the  deaf  hear,  the  dead 
are  raised  up,  and  the  poor  have  the  Gospel 
preached  to  them.  And  blessed  is  he  whosoever 
shall  not  be  offended  in  me."  —  The  last  thing,  it 
would  seem,  at  which  the  world  should  take  of- 
fence. That  the  prison  doors  should  be  opened, 
and  light  and  sound  be  let  in  upon  poor  immured 
and  darkened  souls;  that  lame  feet  wearily 
dragged  by  bodies  which  they  were  made  to  bear 


op  should  be  rendered  whole  and  elastic  by  the 
healer's  touch  ;  that  lepers  should  be  released  from 
their  ghastly  malady,  and  the  dead  be  given  back 
to  their  friends,  —  Are  these  events  that  should 
give  offence  ?  Alas  I  at  what  antipodes  man's 
anger  often  stands  to  Christ's.  The  rulers  of  the 
synagogue  "  answered  with  indignation  "  because 
on  the  Sabbath  day  the  Lord  had  healed  a  suffer- 
ering  woman  whom  Satan  had  bound  for  eighteen 
years.  Once  we  hear  of  the  mighty  indignation 
of  Christ.  At  the  tomb  of  Lazarus,  Jesus  was  "  in- 
dignant in  spirit,"  for  so  they  tell  us  the  words 
mean.  He  saw  the  masterpiece  of  the  devil, 
whose  works  he  had  come  to  destroy,  spread  out 
before  him  —  death  and  the  tears,  the  anguish  and 
the  groans  that  follow  in  death's  train  ;  and  his 
soul  was  stirred  to  holy  wrath  within  him.  Do  wc 
well  to  be  angry  at  the  suggestion  that  even  now 
the  Lord  of  life  may  snatch  from  sickness,  death's 
forerunner,  those  upon  whom  he  has  laid  his  hand  ? 
We  give  the  following  instance  which  we  find 
recorded  and  strongly  indorsed  by  an  eminent 
Baptist  minister  of  the  last  century,  Rev.  Morgan 
Edwards,  of  New  Jersey.  We  reproduce  the  story 
of  the  "  miracle,"  as  he  names  it  in  his  own  some- 

OF  THE  HEALED.  l8l 

what  quaint  and  old-fashioned  phraseology.     It  is 

in  regard  to  Hannah  Carman,  who,  he  says,  died  in 

Brunswick,  N.  J.,  1776.     He  says  : 

"  Of  her  I  received  the  following  piece  of  his- 
tory, so  well  attested  that  the  skeptic  himself  can 
have  nothing  to  gainsay.  I  have  before  me  three 
certificates  of  the  fact,  and  the  testimony  of  Squire 
N.  Stout's  lady,  who  was  present  at  the  time  of  the 
miracle.  She  was  remarkable  for  piety  and  good 
sense  from  a  child.  About  the  25  th  year  of  her 
age  she  got  a  fall  from  a  horse,  which  so  hurt  her 
back  that  she  was  bowed  down  and  could  in  no 
wise  lift  up  herself.  Her  limbs  were  also  so 
affected  that  she  was  a  perfect  cripple,  not  able 
to  walk  nor  to  help  herself  in  the  smallest  matters. 
One  day  the  young  woman  who  had  the  care  of  her 
(now  Squire  Stout's  lady),  seated  her  in  an  elbow 
chair,  and  went  to  the  garden.  She  had  not  been 
long  in  the  garden  before  she  heard  a  rumbling 
noise  in  the  house.  She  hastened  in,  thinking  that 
the  cripple  had  tumbled  out  of  her  chair  ;  but  how 
was  she  surprised  and  frightened  to  see  the  cripple 
in  the  far  end  of  the  room  praising  God  who  had 
made  her  whole  every  whit.  Miss  Ketcham  (for 
that  was  the  name  of  Squire  N.  Stout's  lady,  from 
whom  I  had  the  narrative)  sent  to  her  neighbor 
Bray  (the  signer  of  one  of  my  certificates)  who 
came  in  haste,  and  was  equally  astonished,  for  the 
cripple  was  all  the  while  in  an  ecstacy,  taking  no 
notice  of  the  company,  but  running  about  the 
house,  moving  chairs  and  tables  from  place  to 
place,  going  to  her  bedroom,  taking  up  her  bed 
and  walking  about  with  it,  and  every  now  and  then 
falling  on  her  knees  to  praise  God,  who  had  made 


whole  a  daughter  of  Abraham,  who  had  been 
bowed  down  for  ten  or  a  dozen  years.  It  has 
been  observed  before  that  the  cripple  was  alone  in 
the  house  when  the  miraculous  event  occurred. 
The  manner  thereof  must  have  come  from  herself, 
and  was  as  follows :  ■  While  I  was  musing  on 
these  words,  ./Eneas,  Jesus  Christ  maketh  the© 
whole,  I  could  not  help  breathing  out  my  heart 
and  my  soul  in  the  following  manner :  O  that  I 
had  been  in  ./Eneas'  place !  Upon  that  I  heard  an 
audible  voice  saying,  Arise,  take  up  thy  bed  and 
walk !  The  suddenness  of  the  voice  made  me 
start  in  my  chair ;  but  how  was  I  astonished  to 
find  my  back  strengthening  and  my  limbs  recover- 
ing their  former  use  in  that  start.  I  got  up,  and 
to  convince  myself  that  it  was  a  reality  and  not  a 
vision,  I  lifted  up  my  chair  and  whatever  came  in 
my  way :  went  to  my  room  and  took  up  my  bed, 
and  put  my  strength  to  other  trials,  till  I  was  con- 
vinced that  the  cure  was  real,  and  not  a  dream  or 
delusion.'  " 

Edwards  adds : 

"  I  doubt  not  but  some  witlings  will  find  pleas- 
antry in  this  story.  Let  them  ;  and  be  their  pleas- 
antry their  reward.  But  whoever  believes  in  the 
power  of  ejaculatory  prayer  will  be  benefited  by 
it."  * 

The  witlings  it  would  seem  then  made  sport  of 
this  story  of  healing,  as  of  the  one  just  before  re- 
ferred to.  But,  considering  the  eminent  character 
of  the  man  who  vouches  for  it,  and  the  certificates 

*  Material*  for  History  of  the  Baptku  iu  New  JtTMjr,  1791,  p.  63. 

OF   THE  HEALED.  1 83 

to  the  truth  of  the  narrative  of  which  he  speaks, 
is  there  not  a  fair  presumption  at  least  in  favor  of 
its  genuineness  ?  We  shall  be  regarded  as  very  sim- 
ple, no  doubt,  for  having  reproduced  the  tale,  but 
no  matter ;  simplicity  is  one  of  the  soft  and  form- 
ative stages  of  all  true  faith.  The  first  announce- 
ments of  the  resurrection  were  deemed  as  "  idle 
tales  "  by  those  who  heard  them,  and  had  it  not 
been  for  the  credulity  of  the  simple-minded  women 
who  first  reported  this  miracle  we  might  not  soon 
have  had  the  faith  of  the  strong-minded  men,  who 
afterwards  preached  it.  Prof.  Godet,  alluding  to 
alleged  miracles  among  the  French  Protestants 
which  have  precisely  the  same  kind  of  document- 
ary evidence  in  their  favor,  strongly  refuses  to 
pronounce  against  them,  and  quotes  with  approval 
the  following  weighty  words  :  "  There  was  a  time 
when  men  believed  everything ;  in  our  day  they 
believe  nothing.  I  think  we  should  take  a  middle 
course ;  we  should  not  believe  everything,  but  we 
ought  to  believe  some  things.  For  this  spirit  of 
incredulity  and  strong-mindedness  answers  no  good 
purpose,  and  I  have  not  discovered  its  use.  Is  it 
possible  that  God  has  so  hidden  himself  behind  the 
creatures  of  his  hand  and  under  the  veil  of  second- 


ary  causes  that  he  will  never  lift  the  curtain  at  all  ? 
Let  us  conclude  that  the  credulity  of  our  ancesters 
caused  many  fictions  to  be  received  as  good  his- 
tory, but  also  that  incredulity  causes  good  history 
to  pass  in  our  day  for  worthless  stories."* 

The  following  narrative  of  a  well  known  phy- 
sician, Dr.  R of  Philadelphia,  is  certainly  very 

striking.  It  is  given  in  his  own  words  as  published 
in  "  The  Great  Physician,"  by  Dr.  Boardman. 
Being  asked  to  give  an  account  of  the  recovery  of 
his  son,  Dr.  R said  : 

"  I  do  not  like  to  speak  of  it  to  people  generally, 
they  are  so  unbelieving  ;  but  I  can  tell  you.  The 
children  were  jumping  off  from  a  bench,  and  my 
little  son  fell  and  broke  both  bones  of  his  arm  be- 
low the  elbow.  My  brother,  who  is  a  professor  of 
surgery  in  the  College  at  Chicago,  was  here  on  a 
visit.  I  asked  him  to  set  and  dress  the  arm.  He 
did  so ;  put  it  in  splints,  bandages,  and  in  a  sling. 
The  child  was  very  patient,  and  went  about  with- 
out a  murmur  all  that  day.  The  next  morning  he 
came  to  me  and  said,  '  Dear  papa,  please  take  off 
these  things.'  '  Oh,  no,  my  son  !  you  will  have  to 
wear  these  things  five  or  six  weeks  before  it  will 
be  well.'  '  Why,  papa,  it  is  well.'  '  Oh,  no,  my 
dear  child,  that  is  impossible.'  'Why,  papa,  you 
believe  in  prayer,  don't  you?'  'You  know  I  do, 
my  son.'  'Well,  last  night  when  I  went  to  bed  it 
hurt  me  very  bad,  and  I  asked  Jesus  to  make  it 
well,  and  he  did  make  it  well,  and  it  is  well.' 

*  Defence  of  the  Chrktian  Faith,  p.  88. 

OF  THE  HEALED.  1 85 

I  did  not  like  to  say  a  word  to  chill  his  faith.  A 
happy  thought  came  ;  I  said,  *  My  dear  child,  your 
uncle  put  the  things  on,  and  if  they  are  taken  off 
he  must  do  it.'  Away  he  went  to  his  uncle,  who 
told  him  he  would  have  to  go  as  he  was  six  or 
seven  weeks,  and  must  be  very  patient ;  and  when 
the  little  fellow  told  him  that  Jesus  had  made  him 
well,  he  said,  '  Pooh  !  pooh  !  nonsense/  and  sent 
him  away.  The  next  morning  the  poor  boy  came 
again  to  me,  and  plead  with  so  much  sincerity 
and  confidence  that  I  more  than  half  believed  that 
he  was  really  healed,  and  went  to  my  brother  and 
said,  '  Had  you  not  better  undo  his  arm  and  let 
him  see  for  himself  ?  then  he  will  be  satisfied.  If 
you  do  not,  I  fear,  though  he  is  very  obedient,  he 
may  be  tempted  to  undo  it  himself,  and  then  it 
may  be  worse  for  him.'  My  brother  yielded,  took 
off  the  bandages  and  splints,  and  exclaimed,  '  It  is 
well,  absolutely  well,'  and  hastened  to  the  door  for 
air  to  keep  from  fainting. 

He  had  been  a  real,  simple-hearted  Christian, 
but  in  his  student  days  wandered  away  ;  but  this 
brought  him  back  to  the  Lord.  Strange  if  it  had 
not.  To  all  this  I  could  say  nothing,  if  I  had  been 
ever  so  much  disposed,  in  the  way  of  accounting 
for  it,  upon  any  other  hypothesis  than  that  of  the 
little  fellow  himself,  that  Jesus  had  made  him 

A  marvellous  story,  you  will  exclaim  ;  but  is  it 

not  especially  wonderful  that  we  find  the  doctors 

of  medicine  as  the  witnesses  to  a  miracle  ?     They 

who  handle  human  wounds  with  the  callous  fingers 

of  science,  cry  out,  "  Lo,  God  was  in  this  place  !  " 


while  we  theologians  are  such  devotees  to  cause 
and  effect  that  we  fear  we  may  commit  sacrilege 
by  bringing  in  the  Cause  of  causes.     But  it  may 
be  that  the  physicians  and  physiologists  are  bolder 
than  we  in  personalizing  the  mysterious  agency 
which  operates  in  the  cure  of  sick.     They  call  it 
the  "vis  mcdicatrix"  as  if  it  were  "some  gentle 
feminine  nurse  hidden  from  the  sight,  whose  office 
it  is  to  expel  the  poisons,  knit  the  fractures,  and 
heal  the  bodies."     Would  that  we  were  quite  as 
bold  to  recognize  sometimes,  at  least,   the   Holy 
Spirit  as  our  healer,  and  to  pay  that  only  fee  which 
he  requires,  our  open  acknowledgment  and  thanks 
to  him  who  has  said,  "  I  am  the  Lord  that  hea> 
eth  thee."     And  we  must  express  our  decided  con- 
viction that,  on  the  whole,  Christian  physicians  are 
less  skeptical  on  the  question  of  miraculous  heal- 
ing than  Christian  ministers ;   at  least  we   know 
more  of  them  in  our  day  who  have  orally   or  in 
writing  given  in  their  adherence  to  this  doctrine 
than  of  preachers  and  theologians.     In  the  narrative 
next  following  we  have  the  beautiful  sight  of  the 
beloved  physician  spending  the   night   in   prayer 
with   a   few  friends  who  have  come  to  ask  the 
recovery   of  his   long   suffering  patient.     In    Dr. 

OF   THE  HEALED.  1 87 

Boardman's  book  we  read  the  tender  story  of 
an  English  physician,  Dr.  De  Gorrequer  Grif- 
feth,  leaving  a  little  patient  for  whom  his  skill 
could  avail  nothing,  and  going  down  by  the  river 
side,  whither  he  had  been  wont  to  resort,  for  com- 
munion with  God,  and  there  asking  and  receiving 
the  recovery  of  the  child.  The  two  persons  who 
have  been  most  largely  used  in  praying  for  the 
cure  of  the  sick  in  our  own  city  are  educated  and 
practicing  physicians.  We  to  whom  are  committed 
the  oracles  of  God,  do  well  to  see  to  it  that  we  are 
not  more  skeptical  than  they  to  whom  are  entrusted 
the  pharmacopoeiae  of  nature. 

We  instance  another  cure,  the  story  of  which 
has  been  read  by  many,  and  heard  by  not  a  fevr 
from  the  lips  of  the  emancipated  sufferer  herself. 
The  remarkable  history  of  Miss  Jennie  Smith  o( 
Philadelphia,  is  rehearsed  in  the  little  book  "  Frow 
Baca  to  Beulah."* 

Her  disease,  so  mysterious  and  agonizing  anc 
long  continued  that  her  pastor  pronounced  it  "  a 
narrative  of  suffering  rarely  if  ever  equaled,"  cannol 
be  described  at  length  here.  Suffice  it  to  say  thai 
she  was  a  helpless  cripple  for  about  sixteen  years. 
suffering  much  of  the  time  the  extremest  agony, 

*  Garriguos  Bros.     Philadelphia :  1880. 


One  limb  was  subject  to  such  violent  and  uncon- 
trollable spasms  that  it  had  to  be  confined  in  a 
strong  box,  and  often  held  down  by  heavy  weights. 
During  her  extraordinary  sufferings  her  faith  and 
consecration  seem  to  have  been  brought  into  very 
lively  exercise,  so  that  making  her  couch  a  pulpit, 
she  was  greatly  used  for  quickening  the  spiritual 
life  of  such  as  came  within  her  reach.  Meantime 
she  began  to  lay  hold  of  the  promise  of  God  for 
bodily  healing,  and  getting  tokens  of  his  power  in 
several  partial  reliefs,  she  was  led  on  to  ask  and  ob- 
tain entire  recovery.  The  story  of  this  we  give  in 
her  own  words.  After  a  day  of  unusual  suffering 
a  few  Christian  friends  had  gathered  about  her  in 
the  evening  as  she  lay  in  her  extension  chair.  She 

"The  evening  was  devoted  to  prayer,  led  by 
pastor  Everett.  After  the  first  hour  or  more,  some 
were  obliged  to  leave.  One  brother,  whom  I  had 
not  met  before,  as  he  shook  hands  on  leaving,  said, 
*  My  sister,  you  are  asking  too  much  ;  you  are  too 
anxious  to  get  well.  The  Lord  can  make  better 
use  of  you  upon  your  cot  than  upon  your  feet.'  I 
was  thankful  for  the  brother's  words.  I  then 
looked  searchingly  into  my  heart.  The  blessed  Lord 
knows  I  honestly  answered,  '  No,  I  am  not  anx- 
ious to  get  well ;  I  have  gained  the  victory  over 
that.  If  the  heat  of  the  furnace  was  increased  a 
thousand  fold  I  could  say,  Thy  will  be  done,  and 

OF  THE  HEALED.  1 89 

to  feel  pain  would  be  sweet  if  fully  shown  to  me  that 
it  is  the  Father's  will  that  I  should  suffer.  And 
I  believe  the  time  has  come  for  me  to  know  that 

Up  to  this  point  of  the  meeting  there  was  not 
that  oneness  of  mind  that  I  felt  there  must  be.  I 
said  to  those  who  remained,  '  can  you  tarry  with 
me  till  the  morning  if  need  be  ?  I  feel  that  it 
must  be  by  waiting  that  our  Father  will  give  us 
the  blessing.  A  re  we  of  one  accord  in  this  matter  ? ' 
My  physician,  Dr.  Morgan,  was  the  first  to  say,  '  I 
will  stay,  and  I  fully  agree  with  you.' 

They  all  gathered  about  my  chair.  Never  can 
that  little  group  forget  that  season.  It  was  now 
after  nine  o'clock.  We  continued  waiting  before 
the  Lord.  Occasionally  one  or  another  would 
quote,  with  comment,  an  appropriate  text  of  scrip- 
ture, or  engage  in  a  brief  prayer.  For  myself,  I 
lay  in  quiet  expectancy,  still  suffering,  but  with  a 
remarkable  sense  of  the  divine  presence.  Much 
of  the  time  I  was  almost  oblivious  to  my  surround- 
ings, so  engaged  was  I  in  communion  with  my 
heavenly  Father.  About  1 1  o'clock  I  was  led  to 
vocally  offer  myself  to  God  in  fresh  consecration, 
saying : 

*  I  give  this  body  anew  —  these  eyes  to  see,  these 
lips  to  talk,  these  ears  to  hear,  and,  if  it  be  thy  will, 
these  feet  to  walk  — for  Jesus.  All  that  is  of  me  — 
all,  all  is  thine,  dear  Father.  Only  let  thy  precious 
will  be  done.  ' 

Up  to  this  time  there  was  no  cessation  from  suf- 
fering or  increase  of  strength.  As  before  said,  I 
was  weaker  than  usual.  After  a  brief  silence 
there  suddenly  flashed  upon  me  a  most  vivid  view 
of  the  healing  of  the  withered  arm.     It  seemed  to 

190  THE   TESJtatOlrY 

me  I  could  see  it  being  thrust  out  whole.  At  the 
same  instant  the  Holy  Spirit  bestowed  on  my  soul 
a  faith  to  claim  a  similar  blessing.  It  seemed  as 
if  heaven  were  at  that  moment  opened,  and  I  was 
conscious  of  a  baptism  of  strength,  as  sensibly  and 
as  positively  as  if  an  electric  shock  had  passed 
through  my  system.  I  felt  definitely  the  strength 
come  into  my  back,  and  into  my  helpless  limbs. 
Laying  my  hand  on  the  chair-arms,  I  raised  myself 
to  a  sitting  posture.  The  Garrigue9  brothers,  be- 
ing seated  on  either  side  of  the  chair,  naturally 
sprang  forward  and  laid  hold  to  assist  me.  This, 
however,  was  not  necessary.  Dr.  Morgan,  who 
was  sitting  near,  stepped  forward  and  let  down  the 
foot-board,  and,  while  the  hands  of  my  friends  were 
yet  on  my  shoulders,  I  arose  and  stood  upon  my 

Sister  Fannie  could  not  remember  ever  having 
seen  me  standing  up.  She  was  so  startled  she 
threw  up  both  hands  and  screamed,  '  Oh,  Jennie, 
Jennie  1 '  No  words  can  express  my  feelings.  My 
very  being  yet  thrills  with  praise  as  I  speak  of  that 
hour.  As  I  stood  Brother  W.  H.  G.  placed  his  hand 
upon  my  head,  saying,  '  Praise  God,  from  whom  all 
blessings  flow.' 

My  first  thought  was  '  Can  I  kneel  ? '  I  asked 
to  do  so,  and  knelt  as  naturally  as  if  I  had  been 
accustomed  to  it.  There  was  so  much  of  the 
divine  presence  that  not  a  word  was  spoken.  We 
poured  forth  our  souls  in  silent  thanksgiving  and 
praise.  I  then  arose  and  walked  across  the  room 
with  entire  ease  and  naturalness ;  there  were  no 
prickling  or  otherwise  unpleasant  sensations.  Sat 
down  in  a  rocking-chair  for  some  minutes.  It 
seemed  so  wonderful  that  I  did  not  have  to  learn 


to  walk.     My  limbs  and  body  seemed  as  if  made 

A  case  so  widely  known  as  this  has  been  could 
not  fail  to  elicit  considerable  comment.  How  was 
such  a  rapid  and  complete  recovery  effected  ?  Some 
said  that  it  was  doubtless  owing  to  a  sudden  and 
powerful  reassertion  of  the  will ;  that  as  in  many 
such  obscure  diseases  the  ill  was  probably  nervous 
and  largely  imaginary,  and  their  prayers  and  faith 
simply  brought  courage  and  reassurance.  Indeed ; — 
and  is  it  not  a  great  thing  even  to  find  a  physician 
who  can  discover  that  nothing  ails  us  when  all  the 
doctors  have  pronounced  it  a  desperate  case  ?  If 
this  were  all,  which  we  do  not  for  a  moment  admit, 
it  would  certainly  be  a  vast  triumph  of  faith-healing 
over  medication.  For  it  is  not  alone  that  our  poor 
diseased  humanity  needs  a  physician  with  divine 
skill  to  remove  our  deep-seated  sicknesses,  but 
especially  one  with  divine  insight  to  fathom  and 
uncover  them.  The  doctor's  eyes  are  often  more 
at  fault  than  his  hand.  He  cannot  cure  because 
he  cannot  comprehend  the  secret  of  our  plague. 
How  wonderful  is  the  insight  of  the  Great  Phy- 
sician. His  penetrating  glance  goes  to  the  root 
of  disease  when  ours  can  only  see  the  symptoms. 

Never  was  there  healer  with  such  vision  as  his. 


"He  took  our  suffering  human  race, 
He  read  each  wound  and  weakness  clear, 

He  struck  his  finger  on  the  place, 
And  said,  thou  ailest  here  and  here? 

Blessed  is  the  patient  who  has  found  a  doctor 
whose  healing  touch  is  guided  ever  by  that  clear 
and  unerring  sight  which  knows  what  is  in  man, 
and  needeth  not  that  any  should  testify  of  him. 

Of  this  instance  we  have  the  doctor's  written 
statement,  confirming  in  every  particular  the  tes- 
timony of  his  patient,  both  as  to  the  fearful  charac- 
ter of  her  sickness  and  her  sudden  and  complete 
recovery  in  answer  to  prayer.  We  might  bring 
forward  many  more  witnesses  did  space  permit. 
The  instances  of  drunkards,  cured  at  once  of  long 
enthralling  appetite ;  of  the  victims  of  opium 
saved  from  their  degrading  bondage,  and  all  traces 
of  the  habit  taken  away,  are  especially  interesting 
as  evidences  of  God's  immediate  action  in  taking 
away  the  consequences  of  sin,  as  well  as  forgiving 
the  sin  itself. 

If  one's  eye  is  open,  and  his  mind  unprejudiced, 
how  many  of  such  traces  of  God's  finger  will  he 
see  in  the  world,  events  clear  and  unmistakable 
enough  for  him  who  is  willing  to  believe,  but  ques- 
tionable and  uncertain  enough  for  him  who  is 
determined  to  deny. 



In  summing  up  what  has  been  brought  forward 
in  the  preceeding  chapters,  we  wish  to  review 
briefly  the  theory,  the  testimony  and  the  practice, 
which  our  discussion  has  involved. 

As  to  the  theory  :  —  Is  it  right  for  us  to  pray  to 
God  to  perform  a  miracle  of  healing  in  our  behalf  ? 
"The  truth  is,"  answers  an  eminent  writer,  "that 
to  ask  God  to  act  at  all,  and  to  ask  him  to  perform 
a  miracle  are  one  and  the  same  thing."  *  That  is 
to  say,  a  miracle  is  the  immediate  action  of  God> 
as  distinguished  from  his  mediate  action  through 
natural  laws.  We  see  no  reason,  therefore,  why 
we  should  hesitate  to  pray  for  the  healing  of  our 
bodies  any  more  than  for  the  renewal  of  our  souls. 
Both  are  miracles  ;  but  both  are  covered  and  pro- 
vided for  by  the  same  clear  word  of  promise. 

Our  hesitancy  to  ask  for  physical  healing  we 
believe  to  rest  largely  on  a  false  and  wide-spread 
error  in   regard    to  the   relation  of   the  human 

*  Jellett :  Efficacy  of  Prayer,  p.  41. 


body  to  the  redemption  of  Christ.  It  is  taken  for 
granted  by  many  that  this  house  of  clay  was  never 
intended  either  to  be  repaired  or  beautified  by  the 
renewing  Spirit  The  caged-eagle  theory  of  man's 
existence  is  widely  prevalent — the  notion  that  the 
soul  is  imprisoned  in  flesh,  and  is  beating  its  bars 
in  eager  longing  to  fly  away  and  be  at  rest  — all  of 
which  may  be  very  good  poetry,  but  is  very  bad 
theology.  The  scripture  teaches  indeed  that  "we  that 
are  in  this  tabernacle  do  groan  being  burdened ; " 
but  it  does  not  therefore  thrust  death's  writ  of 
ejection  into  our  hands  as  our  great  consolation, 
and  tell  us  that  our  highest  felicity  consists  in 
moving  out  of  this  house  as  quickly  as  possible. 
"  Not  for  that  we  would  be  unclothed,  but  clothed 
upon,  that  mortality  might  be  swallowed  up  of 
life,  "  is  the  inspired  testimony  concerning  our 
highest  hope  of  existence.  The  redemption  of  the 
body,  not  its  dissolution,  resurrection  not  death  is 
set  before  us  in  the  gospel  as  the  true  goal  of  vic- 
tory. But  because  that  great  promise  of  the 
gospel,  "Who  shall  fashion  anew  the  body  of  our 
humiliation  that  it  may  be  conformed  to  the  body 
of  his  ^lory,"  nas  been  so  largely  supplanted  by 
the  notion  of  a  spiritual  elimination  taking  place  at 


death,  in  which  a  purified  soul  is  forever  freed 
from  a  cumbering  body,  all  this  has  been  changed 
in  the  creed  of  many.  The  heresy  of  death-wor- 
ship has  supplanted  the  doctrine  of  resurrection, 
with  a  multitude  of  Christians,  because  they  have 
allowed  the  partial  felicity,  the  departing  to  be  with 
Christ,  to  take  the  place  of  the  final  victory,  the 
coming  of  Christ,  to  quicken  our  mortal  bodies 
by  his  Spirit  that  dwelleth  in  us. 

It  is  easy  to  see  now  that  when  death  gets  es- 
tablished in  the  high  esteem  of  Christians,  sick- 
ness, his  prime  minister,  should  come  to  be  held, 
in  great  regard  also.  And  so  it  is,  that  while  very 
few  enjoy  being  sick,  very  many  are  afraid  seri- 
ously to  claim  healing,  lest  it  should  seem  like 
rebellion  against  a  sacred  ordinance,  or  a  revolt 
from  a  hallowed  medicine  which  God  is  mercifully 
putting  to  their  lips  for  their  spiritual  recovery. 
Those  who  have  such  a  feeling  should  search  the 
scriptures  to  learn  how  constantly  sickness  is  re- 
ferred to  as  the  work  of  the  devil.  From  the  day 
when  "  Satan  went  forth  from  the  presence  of  the 
Lord  and  smote  Job  with  sore  boils,"  to  the  hour 
when  the  Deliverer  came  and  loosed  "  a  daughter 
of   Abraham,   whom   Satan   had   bound   lo   these 


eighteen  years," — he  that  "hath  the  power  of 
death,  that  is  the  devil,"  has  been  compelling  our 
wretched  race  to  reap  the  first  fruits  of  mortality, 
disease  and  pain  and  bodily  decay.  Alas,  if  the 
Lord's  people  shall  be  so  deceived  by  him  that 
they  shall  willingly  accept  sickness,  the  first  fruits 
of  death,  as  their  portion,  instead  of  seeking  for 
health,  the  first  fruits  of  redemption  !  If  any  shall 
insist  indeed,  that  God  often  allows  his  servants 
to  be  sick  for  their  good  ;  or  that  he  sometimes  per- 
mits them  to  fall  into  sin  for  their  chastening,  on 
that  account  we  shall  not  admit  that  sickness  is 
God's  agent  any  more  than  that  sin  is.  An  old 
divine  probably  spoke  as  truly  as  he  did  quaintly 
when  he  said  that  "the  Lord  sometimes  allows 
his  saints  to  be  sharpened  on  the  devil's  grind- 
stone," but  we  believe  that  in  the  compre- 
hensive petition,  "  Deliver  us  from  the  evil  one" 
is  contained  without  question  a  prayer  for  rescue 
from  all  the  ways  and  works  of  Satan  —  from  sick- 
ness as  well  as  from  sin  ;  from  pain,  the  penalty  of 
transgression,  as  well  as  from  transgression  itself. 
But,  it  is  asked,  if  the  privilege  and  promise  in 
this  matter  are  so  clear,  how  is  it  that  the  cases  of 
recovery  through  the  prayer  of  faith  are  so  rare  ? 


Probably  because  the  prayer  of  faith  itself  is  so 
rare,  and  especially  because  when  found  it  receives 
almost  no  support  in  the  church  as  a  whole. 
Prayer  for  such  matters  should  be  the  outcome  of 
the  faith  and  intercession  of  the  whole  body  of 
believers.  So  it  was  in  the  beginning.  When 
Peter  was  delivered  from  prison  it  was  because 
"  prayer  was  made  without  ceasing  of  the  Church 
unto  God  for  him."  And  when  Paul  knelt  alone 
in  the  chamber  of  Publius  to  intercede  for  his 
father's  recovery,  it  was  equally  true  that  his  peti- 
tion was  an  expression  of  what  was  the  unanimous 
and  concurring  faith  of  the  whole  Church.  But  it 
is  not  easy  for  an  individual  prayer  to  make  head- 
way against  the  adverse  sentiment  of  the  great  body 
of  Christians.  For  example  let  an  earnest  soul 
pray  for  a  revival  in  a  church  where  the  prevail- 
ing view  is  that  of  indifferent  unbelief,  or  positive 
disbelief  in  revivals,  and  would  he  be  likely  to  ob- 
tain the  coveted  blessing?  The  promise  stands  fast, 
indeed,  "  How  much  more  shall  your  heavenly 
Father  give  the  Holy  Spirit  unto  them  that  ask 
him ;"  but  the  condition,  "They  were  all  with  one 
accord  in  one  place,"  is  wanting.  How  shall  one 
man  move  the  great  ship  before  the  wind  by  hold- 


ing  up  his  pocket  handkerchief  to  the  breeze, 
when  all  the  mariners  refuse  to  spread  the  sails  ? 
And  how  shall  one  Christian's  faith  prevail  against 
the  non-consent  of  the  whole  Church  ?  There  may 
be  scattered  instances  of  blessing  in  such  circum- 
stances, but  there  can  be  no  wide-spread  exhibitons 
of  divine  power.  They  tell  us  that  all  the  heat 
communicated  to  a  cake  of  ice  short  of  that  which 
would  bring  it  to  the  melting  point  becomes  latent 
and  disappears.  Faith,  likewise,  may  become  in- 
operative and  fruitless  in  the  Church  when  mul- 
tiplied a  hundred  fold  by  unbelief. 

But  there  is  another  answer  also  to  the  question. 
It  is  as  true  here  as  in  any  other  field  that  God 
acts  sovereignly  and  according  to  his  own  deter 
minate  counsel.  He  sees  it  best  to  recover  one 
person  at  the  instance  of  his  people's  prayers,  and 
he  may  see  it  best  to  withold  such  recovery  for  the 
time  from  another.*  And  we  would  most  strongly 
emphasize  the  importance  of  offering  our  supplica- 
tions for  this  as  for  all  mercies  in  the  most  loyal 
and  hearty  and  unreserved  submission  to  the  will  of 
our  Father.     He  has  told  us  that  "  all  things  work 

*  "  Nor  are  tifnt  wrought  continually,  but  as  often  as  it  shall  have  plaaaed  God 
and  seems  necessary ;  whence  it  is  evident  that  to  work  signs  depend*  not  on  the 
•ption  of  man,  but  on  tha  will  of  God."    BuBiager. 

OF  CANDOR.  199 

together  for  good  to  them  that  love  God,"  but  we 

are  not  to  conclude  that  they  all  work  in  one  direc- 
tion. There  are  blessings  and  trials,  joys  and 
sorrows,  pains  and  pleasures,  sickness  and  health, 
falls  and  recoveries,  advances  and  retrogressions, 
but  the  final  issue  and  resultant  of  all  these  ex- 
periences is  our  highest  good.  This  we  conceive 
to  be  the  meaning  of  the  promise.  And  when  we 
remember  that  God  superintends  all  this  complex 
system  of  providences,  and  foresees  the  final  effect 
of  each  seperate  element  in  it,  we  see  how  becom- 
ing it  is  that  we  should  bring  every  petition  into 
subjection  to  the  will  of  the  Lord.  When  Agus- 
tine  was  contemplating  leaving  Africa  and  going 
into  Italy,  his  pious  mother,  fearing  the  effect 
which  the  seductions  of  Rome  might  have  upon 
his  ardent  nature,  besought  the  Lord  with  many 
tears  and  cries  that  he  might  not  be  permitted  to 
go.  He  was  suffered  to  go,  however,  and  in  Milan 
he  found  his  soul's  salvation.  "  Thou  didst  deny 
her,"  says  Augustine  in  his  confessions,  "  thou 
didst  deny  her  what  she  prayed  for  at  that  time 
that  thou  mightest  grant  her  what  she  prayed  for 
always."  This  is  a  perfect  illustration  of  the  point 
which  we  are  emphasizing.     God  may  withhold 


the  recovery  which  we  ask  to-day  because  he  will 
give  to  us  that  "  saving  health "  which  we  ask 
always.  He  may  permit  temporal  death  to  come, 
in  order  that  he  may  preserve  his  child  unto  life 
eternal.  How  little  we  can  know  what  is  best  for 
us  and  what  shall  work  our  highest  good !  Isaac 
Barrow,  the  eminent  and  devout  theologian  was  so 
wayward  and  wicked  while  a  lad  that  his  Christian 
father  confessed  that  he  had  prayed  "that  if  it 
pleased  God  to  take  away  any  of  his  children  it 
might  be  his  son  Isaac."  What  would  the  Church 
have  lost  had  this  prayer  been  granted  ?  On  the 
other  hand,  the  mother  of  Charles  I.,  it  is  said, 
bent  above  the  cradle  of  her  infant  boy  when  he 
had  been  given  up  to  die,  and  refused  to  be  com- 
forted unless  God  would  spare  his  life.  His  life 
was  spared  ;  but  how  gladly  would  that  mother 
have  had  it  otherwise  could  she  have  looked  for- 
ward to  the  day  when  his  head  fell  bleeding  and 
ghastly  beneath  the  stroke  of  the  executioner's 
axe  ?  Such  illustrations  open  a  broad  field  for 
reflection,  and  suggest  the  real  limitation  of  the 
prayer  of  faith  as  related  to  healing,  viz.,  the  gra- 
cious and  all  wise  will  of  God. 
And  this  is  the  same  limitation  which  belongs 


to  the  entire  realm  of  intercessory  prayer.  "  Hold- 
ing such  views  in  regard  to  the  efficacy  of  prayer 
for  recovery  from  disease,  why  should  you  have 
any  sick  persons  in  your  flock  ? "  is  the  question 
which  a  clerical  critic  propounds.  We  shall 
answer  by  propounding  a  much  harder  one.  Hold- 
ing such  views  in  regard  to  the  efficacy  of  prayer 
for  the  conversion  of  souls,  and  resting  on  the 
plain  declaration  of  scripture  concerning  God  our 
Saviour  that  he  "  will  have  all  men  to  be  saved 
and  to  come  to  the  knowledge  of  the  truth,"  why 
should  our  questioner  allow  any  sinner  to  remain 
unconverted  under  his  ministry  ?  And  yet  is  it 
not  his  sorrowful  experience  that  of  all  that  come 
under  his  word  and  prayers,  only  a  few  compara- 
tively give  evidence  of  being  regenerated  ?  Alas ! 
that  we  must  all  concede  that  this  is  our  observa- 
tion.  But  because  I  have  to  admit  that  all  will 
not  hear,  and  all  will  not  repent  and  be  converted, 
shall  I  therefore  refuse  to  persist  in  preaching  and 
warning  and  rebuke  and  intercession,  "that  I 
might  by  all  means  save  some  ? "  Indeed  not ! 
And  since  the  sure  word  of  promise  is  given  to  us 
on  this  matter  also,  let  us  hold  fast  our  confidence 
without  wavering,  so  that  whether  there  be  few  or 


many  who  shall  be  recovered  we  may  by  all  means 
heal  some.  Such  we  believe  to  be  a  candid  ver- 
dict in  regard  to  the  promise  concerning  prayer 
for  the  sick. 

And  now  what  shall  be  said  in  regard  to  the 
testimony  brought  forward  ?  It  would  be  con- 
sidered very  weighty,  we  venture  to  believe,  were 
it  adduced  in  support  of  a  generally  accepted 
theory.  When  evidence  and  established  convic- 
tion are  put  in  the  same  scale  they  tip  the  beam 
very  easily,  but  testimony  against  a  heavy  make- 
weight of  unbelief  and  prejudice  makes  slow  head- 
way. If  the  story  of  Augustine,  or  Luther,  or 
Livingston,  or  Fox,  or  Dorothea  Trudel  were 
found  in  the  gospels  how  we  should  fight  for  its 
genuineness.  "  Ah,  yes,"  you  say,  "  because  the 
gospels  are  inspired,  and  we  should  not  dare  to 
question  any  statement  recorded  on  their  pages." 
But  miracles  were  given  to  accredit  inspiration, 
and  not  inspiration  to  accredit  miracles.  The  first 
miracles  got  themselves  credited  simply  on  human 
testimony,  on  the  evidence  of  men  and  women 
like  ourselves,  who  saw,  and  believed  and  reported. 
And  when  they  had  become  established  as  facts, 
then  their  weight  went  to  prove  the  divine  origin 

OF  CANDOR.  203 

of  Christianity.  It  is  easy  for  us  to  say  that  the 
works  recorded  in  the  gospels  are  supernatural, 
because  the  system  to  which  they  belong  is  super- 
natural. That  is  true ;  but  it  is  reading  backward. 
The  first  Christians  could  not  reason  in  that  way, 
because  the  premise  from  which  we  argue  was  not 
established  in  their  day.  No  I  The  miracles  of 
the  New  Testament  became  established  in  pre- 
cisely the  same  manner  as  any  alleged  fact  is 
proved  to-day,  by  the  evidence  of  honest,  candid 
and  truthful  witnesses,  who  saw  and  bare  record. 
If,  therefore,  our  theologians  choose  to  treat  the 
narratives  of  such  godly  and  truthful  men  as 
Augustine,  and  Luther,  and  Baxter  as  "silly  tales" 
they  must  be  careful  that  they  do  not  build  a 
portico  to  "  the  school  of  Hume,"  from  which  their 
pupils  will  easily  and  logically  graduate  from  the 
denial  of  modern  miracles  to  the  denial  of  all 

Nor  does  age  have  anything  to  do  with  deter- 
mining the  value  of  signs  and  wonders.  A  young 
miracle  is  entitled  to  the  same  respect  as  an  old 
one,  provided  it  bears  the  same  credentials.  And 
if  we  give  way  to  the  subtle  illusion  that  the  mar- 
vellous is  to  be  credited  just  in  proportion  to  its 

304  THE      VERDICT 

distance  from  us  ;  if  we  show  ourselves  forward  to 
admit  that  the  Lord  wrought  great  and  mighty 
signs   eighteen    hundred   years   ago,   and   utterly 
averse  to  conceding  that   the    same    Lord  does 
anything  of  the  kind  to-day,  then  we  must  be  very 
careful  again  that  we  do  not  give  countenance  to 
the  mythical  theory  of  miracles,  which  has  been 
so  strongly  pushed  in  this  generation.     Do  we  be- 
lieve that  the  credibility  of  miracles  depends  on 
the  magnifying  power  of  distance  ;  that  antiquity 
must  stand  behind  them  as  a  kind  of  convex  mir 
ror  to  render  them  sufficiently  large  to  be  distinctly 
seen  ?     How  we  revolt  from  such  an  imputation  ! 
Yet  let  us  be  cautious  that  we  do  not  give  occasion 
for  it,  by  emphasizing,  as  we  cannot  too  strongly, 
the  great  things  that  the  Lord  did  by  our  fathers, 
while  we  utterly  refuse  to  believe  that  he  does  any 
such  things  by  their  sons.     Let  us  not  forget  that 
the  Jews  in  Christ's  day  were  condemned  for  deny- 
ing   the  wonderful  works  wrought  in  their  own 
generation,  and  not  for  disbelieving  those  done  by 
Elijah  and  Elisha  nine  hundred  years  before.   The 
defenders  of  New  Testament  miracles  are  num- 
bered by  hundreds,  and  there  is  no  special  danger 
of  a  breach  in  the  ramparts  of  Christianity  at  that 

OF  CANDOR.  20$ 

point  The  question  of  God's  supernatural  work- 
ing to-day  and  to-morrow  is  the  one  where  havoc 
is  being  wrought.  Unbelief  shading  off  from 
rationalism  to  liberal  evangelicism  is  doing  its 
utmost  to  give  away  our  most  precious  heritage. 
With  how  many  is  regeneration  merely  a  repairing 
of  the  old  nature  by  culture,  instead  of  a  miracu- 
lous communication  of  the  divine  life !  How 
many  regard  the  promised  coming  of  Christ  in 
glory  as  simply  a  new  phase  of  providence  effected 
by  the  turning  of  the  kaleidoscope  of  history  !  To 
how  many  is  Satan  only  a  concrete  symbol  of  evil, 
so  that  their  denial  of  the  reality  of  the  infernal 
has  issued  in  a  disbelief  in  the  Supernal !  To  how 
many  is  inspiration  only  a  higher  state  of  intellect- 
ual exaltation  ;  and  resurrection  an  elimination  or 
spiritual  release,  effected  by  the  dissolving  chemis- 
try of  death  !  To  read  the  utterances  put  forth 
by  Christian  teachers  in  these  directions  within 
the  last  few  years  is  enough  to  startle  one  and 
make  him  cry  out  in  the  strong  words  of  Edward 
Irving  :  "  Oh  the  serpent  cunning  of  this  liberal 
spirit,  it  is  killing  our  children  ;  it  has  already 
slain  its  tens  and  thousands  ;  this  city  is  sick  unto 
death,  and  dying  of  the  mortal  wounds  which  she 

206  THE      VERDICT 

hath  received  from  it."  Therefore,  let  us  be 
cautious  that  by  taking  up  the  current  sneer  about 
prodigies  and  wonders  we  do  not  get  our  eyes 
blinded  and  our  ears  dull  of  hearing  so  as  to  be 
utterly  unable  to  discern  any  divine  manifestations 
in  case  they  should  be  made. 

As  to  the  practice  involved  in  this  discussion  : 
Can  it  be  of  any  service  for  authenticating  the 
truth  of  Christianity  to-day  to  show  examples 
of  men  and  women  healed  of  sickness  through 
<aith  in  the  Great  Physician  ?  So  far  as  our  ob- 
servation goes,  the  most  powerful  effect  of  such 
experiences  is  upon  the  subjects  themselves,  in  the 
marked  consecration  and  extraordinary  spiritual 
anointing  which  almost  invariably  attend  them. 
We  can  bear  unqualified  testimony  on  this  point. 
Of  a  large  number  within  the  circle  of  our  ac- 
quaintance, who  have  been  healed,  or  who  have 
imagined  themselves  healed,  we  have  never  seen 
one  who  did  not  give  evidence  of  having  received 
an  unusual  enduement  of  spiritual  power.  It  has 
seemed  as  though  the  double  blessing  of  forgive- 
ness and  health  had  been  followed  by  the  bestow- 
ment  of  a  double  portion  of  the  Spirit.  If  we 
could   let  the  objectors   to  our  doctrine  witness 

OF  CANDOR.  207 

some  of  the  examples  of  alleged  healing  which 
have  been  under  our  eyes  for  several  years  — 
inebriates  who,  after  half  a  lifetime  wasted  in 
desperate  struggles  for  reform,  declare  that  their 
appetite  was  instantly  eradicated  in  answer  to  in- 
tercessory prayer ;  invalids  lifted  in  an  hour  from 
couches  where  they  had  lain  for  years ;  and  now 
their  adoring  gratitude,  their  joyful  self-surrender, 
their  burning  zeal  in  the  service  of  the  Lord  —  if 
we  could  let  our  critics  witness  these  things  we 
believe  that  the  most  stubborn  among  them  would 
at  least  be  willing  that  these  happy  subjects  of  — • 
something  should  remain  under  the  illusion  that 
they  have  had  the  Saviour's  healing  touch  laid 
upon  them. 

Such  we  believe  to  be  the  verdict  of  candor 
upon  this  whole  question.  We  do  not  ask  that 
the  highest  place  in  Christian  doctrine  be  given  to 
faith  in  supernatural  healing.  We  readily  admit 
that  grace  is  vastly  more  important  than  miracles  ; 
but  miracles  have  their  place  as  shadows  of  greater 
things.  We  urge  that  they  may  hold  this  place, 
that  we  may  be  helped  thereby  the  better  to  ap- 
prehend the  substance. 

When  the  Emperor  Theodosius  had  on  a  great 


occasion  given  release  to  all  the  prisoners  confined 
within  his  realm  he  exclaimed  :  "  And  now  would 
to  God  I  could  open  all  the  tombs  and  give  life  to 
the  dead !  "  If  we  could  sometimes  see  the  Lord 
unlocking  the  prison-house  of  sickness  and  giving 
reprieve  from  the  impending  penalty  of  death  to 
those  long  in  bondage  it  might  be  a  salutary  pledge 
and  reminder  of  our  Redeemer's  purpose  to  bring 
forth  the  prisoners  from  the  tomb  in  that  day  when 
he  shall  quicken  our  mortal  bodies  by  his  Spirit 
that  dwelleth  in  us ;  it  might  sound  in  our  ears 
with  repeated  emphasis  the  Lord's  word,  "  turn  ye 
to  the  stronghold  ye  prisoners  of  hope ;  even  to- 
day do  I  declare  that  I  will  render  double  unto 



"The  Church  can  no  longer  say,  silver  and  gold 
have  I  none,"  said  Pope  Gregory  to  Thomas 
Aquinas.  "  No,  nor  can  she  say  any  longer,  *  In 
the  name  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Nazareth  rise  up  and 
walk,'  "  answered  Thomas.  A  very  deep  wisdom, 
and  a  very  fruitful  suggestion  are  contained  in  this 
answer  of  the  theologian.  As  riches  increase,  that 
close  dependence  on  God  which  is  the  fertile  soil 
of  faith  and  trust,  decreases.  It  is  when  we  are 
most  straightened  in  ourselves  that  the  bounty  of 
God  is  most  widely  open  to  us  ;  it  is  when  we  have 
nothing  that  we  find  the  key  with  which  to  enter 
in  and  possess  all  things  which  are  ours  in  Christ. 

We  are  living  in  an  age  in  which  the  Church 
enjoys  very  large  prosperity  in  an  earthly  direction ; 
when  she  is  "  rich  and  increased  in  goods,"  and, 
therefore,  in  constant  peril  of  saying  "  I  have 
need  of  nothing."  It  is  not  an  era,  therefore, 
in  which  the  greatest  triumphs  of  faith  and 
intercession  may  be  reasonably  looked  for.     Every 


Christian  knows  in  his  own  experience  the  differ- 
ence between  saying  his  prayers  and  supplicating 
God  for  help  under  the  stress  of  overwhelming 
need ;  and  in  the  Church  we  may  well  open  our 
eyes  to  the  fact  that  our  prosperity,  and  our  rest 
from  persecution  and  trial  are  sources  of  weakness 
and  enervation.  We  do  not  pray  as  apostles,  and 
martyrs,  and  confessors,  and  reformers  prayed,  be- 
cause not  pressed  upon  by  enemies,  and  thereby 
shut  up  to  God  as  they  were  ;  and  so  we  do  not 
get  such  answers  as  they  received. 

Our  first  caution  therefore  concerning  this  sub- 
ject is  that  we  do  not  demand  too  much  of  the 
Christian  Church  of  to-day.  We  should  ask  great 
things  and  expect  great  things  of  God  ;  but  of 
men,  weak  and  back-slidden  in  heart,  we  ought  not 
to  be  too  exacting.  Faith  for  healing  cannot  rise 
above  the  general  level  of  the  Church's  faith. 
There  are  multitudes  of  prayers  in  these  days, 
written  prayers  and  extemporaneous  prayers,  pray- 
ers in  the  Church,  and  prayers  in  the  family  ;  but 
how  many  Christians  out  of  the  great  mass  have 
any  very  extensive  record  of  direct,  definite  and 
unmistakable  answers  to  their  petitions  ?  Of  all 
who  knock  at  the  gates  of  heaven  each  day,  how 

OF  CAUTION.  211 

many  wait  and  watch  till  the  door  is  opened  and 
their  portion  is  brought  to  them  ?  But  it  is  not  rea- 
sonable to  expect  that  such  as  have  no  experience 
in  prevailing  prayers  for  other  things  should  be 
able  to  wield  at  once  the  prayer  of  faith  which 
saves  the  sick.  In  God's  school  it  is  no  more  true 
than  in  man's,  that  pupils  can  step  immediately 
into  the  highest  attainments  with  no  previous 
study,  or  diligent  mastery  of  the  first  principles 
pf  faith.  If  the  conviction  and  assurance  of  the 
Church  as  a  whole  should  rise  to  the  height  of  this 
great  argument,  we  might  witness  wonderful 
things ;  but,  so  long  as  it  does  not,  we  should  not 
be  made  to  doubt  because  of  the  meagre  conquests 
which  we  witness.  It  is  for  us  to  pray  always 
and  earnestly  that  the  Lord  would  be  pleased  to 
restore  to  his  Church  her  primitive  gifts,  by  re- 
storing her  primitive  endowments  of  unworldliness 
and  poverty  of  spirit  and  separation  unto  God.  If 
any  organ  of  the  body  be  weak  and  sickly,  the 
only  sure  method  of  restoring  it  is  to  tone  up  the 
whole  system,  and  bring  it  to  the  normal  standard 
of  health  ;  so  if  the  entire  body  of  Christ  were 
revived  and  reinvested  with  her  first  spiritual 
powers,  these  special  gifts  and  functions  of  which 


we  are  writing  would  not  fail  to  be  in  extensive 

Then  again  we  need  to  be  very  careful  that  we 
do  not  fall  into  heresy  on  this  question.  Heresy, 
as  a  thoughtful  Christian  writer  has  pointed  out, 
means  a  dividing  or  a  choosing ;  it  is  the  accept- 
ance and  advocacy  of  one  hemisphere  of  truth  to 
the  rejection  of  the  other.  Every  doctrine  is  two 
sided ;  so  that  whichever  phase  commends  itself  to 
us  we  must  remember  its  counterpart,  and  aim  to 
preserve  the  balance  of  truth  by  holding  fast  to 
this  also.  In  the  matter  before  us,  as  in  the 
whole  doctrine  of  prayer,  human  freedom  and  the 
divine  sovereignty  are  inseparably  joined.  Here 
are  the  two  sides  : 

"  Ask  wltat  ye  will  and  it  shall  be  done  unto 
you."—  John  xv.  7. 

"If  ye  ask  anything  according  to  his  will  he 
heareth  us."  —  1  John  v.  14. 

In  our  assent  to  the  doctrine  of  the  divine 
sovereignty  we  must  never  forget  the  gracious 
privilege  which  is  accorded  to  us  of  freely  making 
known  our  requests  to  God,  with  the  fullest  assur- 
ance that  he  will  hear  and  grant  them.  "Whatso- 
ever ye  shall  ask  in  my  name  that  will  I  do ; "  —  we 

OF  CAUTION.  213 

cannot  lean  too  hard  upon  this  promise  or  plead  it 
too  confidently.  But  at  the  same  time  we  must  be 
sure  that  beneath  every  prayer  the  strong,  clear 
undertone  of  "thy  will  be  done"  is  distinctly 
heard.  Of  course  in  saying  this  we  open  a  mys- 
tery, and  suggest  a  seeming  contradiction  which 
the  wisdom  of  the  ages  has  been  unable  to  solve. 
But  because  we  find  both  sides  of  this  truth  dis- 
tinctly expressed  in  scripture,  we  must  be  sure  to 
emphasize  both.*  Let  us  be  very  careful  there- 
fore that  we  do  not  proclaim  the  doctrine  of  divine 
healing  in  an  unbalanced  and  reckless  manner.  If 
we  are  told  that  a  brother  in  the  Church  is  sick 
let  us  not  make  undue  haste  to  declare  that  he  will 
certainly  be  restored  if  we  carry  his  case  to  God. 
We  must  keep  distinctly  in  mind  both  Melita  and 
Miletum  :  remembering  that  at  one  place  Paul 
healed  the  father  of  Publius  by  his  prayers,  and 
that  at  the  other  place  he  left  Trophimus  sick. 

"*The  only  way  for  a  believer,  if  he  wants  to  go  rightly,  is  to  remember  that 
truth  is  always  two-sided.  If  there  is  any  truth  that  the  Holy  Ghost  has  specially 
pressed  upon  your  heart,  if  you  do  not  want  to  push  it  to  the  extreme,  ask  what  is 
the  counter- truth,  and  lean  a  little  of  your  weight  upon  that ;  otherwise,  if  you 
bear  so  very  much  on  one  side  of  the  truth,  there  is  a  danger  of  pushing  it  into  a 
heresy.  Heresy  means  selected  truth ;  it  does  not  mean  error :  heresy  and  error 
are  very  different  things.  Heresy  is  truth ;  but  truth  pushed  into  undue  impoR 
Udgc  to  the  disparagement  of  the  truth  on  the  other  side."  —  William  Lincolu. 


Some  commentators  have  conjectured  the  reason 
why  the  latter  was  not  at  that  time  recovered,  viz., 
that  he  was  to  be  thereby  kept  back  from  martyr- 
dom which  he  would  probably  have  met  had  he 
gone  with  Paul,  and  for  which  his  time  had  not 
come  in  the  purpose  of  God.  Whether  there  is 
any  truth  or  not  in  this  conjecture,  there  was 
doubtless  some  good  reason  why  this  companion  of 
the  apostle  should  have  been  detained  for  the 
while  under  infirmity.  The  all  wise  and  gracious 
Lord,  who  is  shaping  our  lives,  must  be  allowed  to 
choose  such  detentions  for  us,  if  he  sees  that  he 
can  thereby  best  forward  our  usefulness  and  ad- 
vance his  own  glory.  We  should  be  cautious 
therefore  that  in  this  matter  we  do  not  push  the 
element  of  human  choice  too  strongly  and  rashly, 
to  the  ignoring  of  the  divine,  and  so  bring  in  the 
heresy  of  free-will. 

Let  us  take  warning  from  those  misguided 
teachers  who  are  going  to  the  other  extreme,  and 
bearing  so  hard  upon  the  divine  sovereignty  as 
practically  to  deny  man's  freedom,  to  ask  or  expect 
miraculous  healing.  More  than  this,  indeed,  they 
seem  to  have  pushed  the  sovereignty  of  God  almost 
into  an  iron  fixedness,  where  even  the  Almighty  is 

OF  CAUTION.  215 

not  at  liberty  to    work  miracles  any  longer,  as 
though  under  bonds  to  restrain  this  office  of  his 
Omnipotence  since  the   apostolic  age.     This  we 
hold  to  be  a  far  more  serious  error  than  the  other, 
since  it  appears  not  only  to  shut  up  man's  freedom 
of  asking,  but  to  limit  God's  freedom  of  giving. 
There  have  appeared  in  our  religious  newspapers, 
of  late,  extended  deliverances,  in  which  the  pos- 
sibility of  any  miraculous  interventions  in  this  age 
is  most  emphatically  denied,  and  the  attempt  to 
apply  the  plain  promise  in  James  to  present  times 
and  circumstances  characterized   as   gross  super- 
stition.     A    rash    responsibility    for    evangelical 
teachers  to  take  in  speaking  thus,  we  should  say. 
\t  is  opening   channels  of  denial  respecting  the 
lupernatural,  into  which  the  swelling  unbelief  of 
toir  age  will  not  be  slow  to  pour,  inevitably  deep- 
ening those  channels  into  great  gulfs  of  skepticism. 
"  Ah,   but  it  is  you  who  are  ministering  to  un- 
belief," it  is  replied,  "  by  holding  out  promises  in 
the  fulfilment  of  which  men  will  be  disappointed, 
and   thereby   be   led   to   doubt  the  word  of   the 
Lord."     That  is  an  objection  that  can  be  urged 
equally  against  the  whole  doctrine  of  prayer,  and 
it  is  one  concerning  which  we  can  take  no  blame. 


It  is  for  us  simply  to  emphasize  every  promise 
which  God  has  given,  and  to  refrain  from  cumber- 
ing it  with  any  conditions  of  ours.  If  such  assent 
should  promote  unbelief  in  any,  that  is  the  Lord's 
responsibility  who  gave  the  promise.  If  instead 
of  assent  we  give  denial,  that  is  our  responsibility, 
and  the  consequences  must  lie  at  our  door. 

Let  us  on  our  part,  therefore,  avoid  heresy  by 
keeping  these  two  great  elements  of  prayer  in 
equilibrium,  believing  strongly  but  asking  submis- 
sively, holding  up  in  one  hand  of  our  supplication 
a  "Thus  saith  the  Lord,"  and  in  the  other  a  "The 
will  of  the  Lord  be  done." 

It  requires  great  caution  also  in  this  subject 
that  we  do  not  fall  into  fanaticism.  As  we  have 
already  indicated,  fanaticism  is  not  necessarily  a 
sign  of  error.  It  is  more  likely  to  be  a  healthful 
than  a  fatal  symptom.  It  is  often  the  proud  flesh 
and  fever  heat  which  indicate  that  healing  is  going 
on  in  some  fractured  bone  or  ligament  of  the  sys- 
tem of  doctrine.  Nevertheless,  it  must  be  subdued 
and  kept  down  lest  the  truth  may  suffer  reproach. 
And  in  this  field  especially  do  we  need  to  guard 
against  it. 

Nowhere  does  real  require  to  be  so  carefully 


tempered  by  knowledge  as  here.  Novices,  lifted 
up  with  pride,  will  lay  hold  of  this  doctrine,  and 
with  the  enthusiasm  which  the  discovery  of  some 
long  neglected  truth  is  apt  to  engender  they  will 
parade  their  faith,  and  make  extravagant  claims 
concerning  it.  Nothing  needs  to  be  held  with  such 
quietness  and  reserve  as  this  truth.  To  press 
it  upon  the  undevout  and  uninstructed  is  only  to 
bring  it  into  contempt.  Those  who  have  the  most 
wisdom  in  such  matters  will-be  found  speaking  in 
very  hushed  tones,  and  without  assumption  or 
ostentation.  One  who  has  the  habit  of  parad* 
ing  this  theme  on  all  occasions,  and  haranguing  it 
at  every  street  corner,  gives  clear  evidence  of  his 
unfitness  to  handle  it.  Here  is  a  serious  peril,  as 
we  distinctly  forsee  ;  but  the  best  truth  has  always 
had  to  run  such  risks.  Dry  and  lifeless  tradition 
is  the  only  thing  which  has  invariably  been  exempt 
from  them. 

The  more  careful,  therefore,  should  all  be,  who 
desire  to  see  God's  word  prevail,  to  pray  much  and 
argue  little,  that  the  Spirit  who  can  alone  dis- 
cover the  deep  things  of  God  may  reveal  his  true 
will  to  the  Church  concerning  this  important  ques- 
tion.    And  most  especially  is  all  undue  forward- 


ness  in  attempting  to  exercise  this  ministry  to  be 
avoided.  We  are  persuaded  that  there  is  no 
deeper  or  more  difficult  question  which  can  come 
within  our  reach.  If  any  one  is  sincerely  desirous 
of  being  used  of  the  Lord  in  this  direction  let  him 
give  diligent  heed  to  be  taught  of  God  concerning, 
it.  We  are  persuaded  that  there  is  no  school  on 
earth  which  is  competent  to  graduate  one  in  this 
divine  science.  Therefore  we  would  commend  our 
readers  neither  to  books  nor  to  theologians,  but  to 
the  personal  instructions  of  the  Spirit  of  God.  We 
admire  the  candor  with  which  one  eminent  doctor  of 
theology,  Prof.  Godet,  has  confessed  the  true  secret 
of  knowledge  in  this  field.  He  says  :  "  A  single 
prayer  answered,  a  single  case  of  living  contact 
with  the  power  of  the  Father,  a  single  exertion  ol 
the  strength  of  Christ  over  the  weakness  that  is  in 
us  will  teach  us  more  on  the  subject  of  miracles 
than  all  that  I  have  been  able  in  this  lecture  to  say 
to  you  upon  this  great  subject." 

Let  it  be  distinctly  borne  in  mind  that  this  is  no 
easy  art,  no  surface-truth  to  be  picked  up  by  any 
religious  adventurer  who  may  desire  to  exhibit 
some  novel  accomplishment  Unless  one  is  ready 
for  the  most  absolute  self-surrender  and  the  most 

OF  CAV770J9.  219 

implicit  obedience  let  him  not  even  enter  this 
school  of  inquiry  with  any  hope  of  learning  its 
secrets.  It  is  told  of  Pastor  Blumhardt,  who  knew 
as  much  of  this  subject,  we  believe,  as  any  man  in 
recent  times,  that  after  the  promise  for  healing 
was  first  brought  powerfully  to  his  mind  he  passed 
two  years  in  repeated  prayers  and  fastings  and 
searchings  for  the  mind  of  the  Spirit  before  he 
had  the  assurance  that  he  should  lay  hands  on  the 
sick  for  their  recovery.  We  know  that  others  who 
have  been  greatly  owned  of  God  in  this  direction 
have  had  a  similar  experience.  Therefore  we  would 
interpose  a  strong  caution  against  rashness  or  for- 
wardness in  this  matter.  We  need  less  praying 
for  the  sick  rather  than  more ;  only  that  the  less 
shall  be  real,  and  deep,  and  intelligent,  and  believ- 
ing. What  a  revelation  is  contained  in  the  fact 
that  some  of  the  disputants  in  this  controversy, 
after  boldly  denying  that  miraculous  healing  is 
possible  in  this  age  of  the  world,  have  then  added 
"  of  course  we  ought  to  pray  for  the  sick."  That 
is,  being  fairly  interpreted,  after  becoming 
thoroughly  convinced  that  God  will  not  inter- 
pose supernaturally  for  their  restoration  then  we 
should  offer  our  supplication  for  their  healing.     It 


seems  to  us,  on  the  contrary,  that  such  a  convic 
tion  furnishes  a  good  reason  why  we  should  refrain 
from  praying  till  we  have  acknowledged  our  un- 
belief and  forsaken  it 

The  strongest  and  most  enlightened  faith,  one- 
ness of  heart  in  all  uniting  to  pray,  minute  and 
obedient  submission  to  every  condition  named  in 
scripture  are  what  are  absolutely  essential  in  this 
field.  With  the  utmost  tenderness  and  deference 
we  would  allude  to  a  memorable  instance  of  pray- 
ing for  the  sick,  which  is  fresh  in  mind.  A  call 
issued  by  the  secular  authorities  ;  a  day  of  prayer 
in  which  believers  and  formalists  alike  unite ;  the 
incense  of  the  Romish  mass  ascending  with  the 
intercessions  of  the  Protestant  prayer  meeting ;  the 
Jew  and  the  Christian  offering  up,  each  according 
to  his  kind ;  the  helpless  and  imprisoned  patient 
meantime  shut  out  from  the  ministry  of  grace  and 
shut  in  to  the  ministry  of  drugs  aud  stimulants 
so  that  any  lucid  exercise  of  faith  or  of  prayer 
in  the  Holy  Spirit  would  seem  to  be  well-nigh 
impossible,  —  What  shall  we  say  of  this  ?  God 
forbid  that  we  should  by  the  slightest  criticism 
seem  to  mock  the  grief  of  a  suffering  nation, 
or  to  disparage  a  call  to  prayer  from  the  rulers 

of  cactt/om  221 

who  did  the  best  they  knew  in  a  great  crisis,  and 
we  have  no  light  as  to  how  the  Lord  may  have 
regarded  such  an  offering.  But  in  simple  candor 
and  loyalty  to  the  word  of  God  we  must  decline  to 
have  this  event  established  as  a  prayer  guage,  as 
many  are  insisting  on  making  it.  It  was  simply  a 
national  fast  day,  concerning  which  we  proffer  no 
remark.  But  the  prayer  of  faith,  by  the  elders 
of  the  Church,  offered  at  the  special  request  of  the 
sick  person,  made  in  the  name  of  Jesus,  the  one 
mediator  between  God  and  man,  and  in  the 
Holy  Ghost  the  Comforter,  and  all  rendered  up  in 
obedience  to  every  known  condition  of  faith  and 
oneness  of  mind  enjoined  in  scripture  —  this  is 
the  kind  of  prayer  for  the  sick  which  we  are  dis- 
cussing in  this  volume,  and  no  other.  Here  is  a 
service  which  belongs  to  the  Holy  of  holies  of  the 
Christian  Church,  and  which  cannot  be  brought 
out  into  the  court  of  the  Gentiles. 

A  caution  against  dogmatism  and  pride  of  opin- 
ion in  a  field  where  we  know  only  in  part,  may 
well  close  what  we  have  to  say.  Alas  !  how  little 
we  truly  understand  of  this  whole  matter.  We 
believe  strongly  because  we  have  promises  that 
are  "  yea,  and  in  him,  amen  unto  the  glory  of  God 


by  us."  And  so  we  have  presented  as  best  we 
could  the  doctrine,  the  history  and  the  experience 
of  the  Church  upon  this  great  question.  How 
little  we  can  speak  of  actual  use  of  these  gifts. 
But  in  the  oft  quoted  words  of  a  good  man,  we  are 
"  very  confident  that  the  Lord  has  more  truth  yet 
to  break  forth  out  of  his  holy  word  ; "  on  this  sub- 
ject especially,  because  so  many  of  God's  people 
are  "  searching  diligently  what  or  what  manner  of 
time  the  Spirit  of  Christ  did  dignify "  when  he 
penned  these  great  promises.  If  God  has  any- 
thing to  reveal  by  any  instrument  whatever,  let  us 
be  open  to  receive  it.  If  such  instruments  shall 
prove  to  be,  as  we  quite  believe,  the  "  poor  of  this 
world  rich  in  faith  ;  "  the  servants  of  Christ,  who 
after  long  endurance  of  the  bondage  of  pain  have 
traced  the  promises  of  healing  line  by  line  in  their 
own  experience;  and  the  obedient  children,  who  have 
faced  the  world's  doubt  and  scornful  denial  for  the 
joy  of  answering  God's  challenge,  "  Prove  me  now 
herewith,"  let  us  take  heed  that  we  do  not  despise 
even  such  teachers  and  light  bearers.  And  in  all 
our  urgency  for  the  truth  of  God  in  this  matter, 
let  us  not  forget  that  miracles  are  but  signs,  not 
the  substance.     In  prayer,  in  preaching,  in  tears 

OF  CAUTION.  223 

and  persuasions  over  perishing  souls,  in  bearing 
the  cross  and  counting  all  things  as  loss  for  the 
excellency  of  the  knowledge  of  Christ  Jesus  the 
Lord,  let  us  for  the  present  be  diligently  em- 
ployed, until  the  day  dawn  and  the  shadows  flee 
away  ;  until  the  harvest  be  gathered  and  the  first 
fruits  shall  be  needed  no  more  ;  until  that  which 
is  perfect  shall  come,  and  that  which  is  in  part 
shall  be  done  away. 



The  prayer  of  faith,  when  really  understood  and 
exercised,  will  be  confessed  to  be  the  very  highest 
attainment  of  the  Christian  life.  And  yet  it  is  an 
attainment  which  comes  from  unlearning  rather 
than  from  learning ;  from  self-abnegation  rather 
than  from  self-culture ;  from  decrease  towards 
spiritual  childhood  rather  than  from  increase  to- 
wards the  stature  of  intellectual  manhood.  The 
same  condition  holds  for  opening  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  for  others  as  for  entering  it  ourselves,  viz., 
that  we  "become  as  little  children."  To  reach 
down  and  grasp  the  secret  of  simplicity  of  faith 
and  implicitness  of  confidence  is  far  more  difficult 
than  to  reach  up  and  lay  hold  of  the  key  of  knowl- 
edge. Hence,  how  significant  it  is  that  in  the 
Scriptures  children  are  made  the  heroes  of  faith. 
•'This  is  the  victory  that  overcometh  the  world 
even  our  faith."  And  who  then  are  the  over- 
comers  ?    Who  are  they  that  have  laid  hold  of  the 


mighty  secret  of  this  spiritual  conquest?  "Ye 
are  of  God  little  children,  and  have  overcome  them." 
And  why  ?  "  Because  greater  is  he  that  is  in  you 
than  he  that  is  in  them."  Yes  ;  and  just  in  pro- 
portion as  we  are  emptied  of  self,  and  schooled 
back  into  that  second  childhood  which  should 
follow  the  second  birth,  will  God  be  in  us  most 
fully  and  act  through  us  most  powerfully. 

There  is  a  passage  in  the  life  of  an  eminent 
Christian  philosopher  which  is  well  worth  ponder- 
ing deeply  and  seriously  in  this  age  of  superficial 
praying.  A  friend  of  Coleridge  says  that  stand- 
ing by  his  bedside  not  long  before  his  death  he 
was  commenting  on  the  Lord's  prayer,  when  he 
suddenly  broke  out :  "  Oh  my  dear  friend,  to  pray, 
to  pray  as  God  would  have  us  ;  to  pray  with  all  the 
heart  and  strength  ;  with  the  reason  and  the  will, 
to  believe  vividly  that  God  will  listen  to  your  voice 
through  Christ  and  verily  do  the  thing  he  pleaseth 
thereupon  —  this  is  the  last,  the  greatest  achieve- 
ment of  the  Christian's  warfare  on  earth.  Teach 
us  to  pray,  O  Lord!"  "And  then,"  says  the 
narrator,  "he  burst  into  a  flood  of  tears,  and 
begged  me  to  pray  for  him."  The  greatest 
achievement  indeed !    And  yet  it  is  not  by  might 


nor  by  power.  Wisdom  cannot  compass  it ;  learn 
ing  cannot  master  it.  "  To  pray  with  all  the  heart 
and  strength  ; "  which  should  mean  with  the  heart 
submerged  in  the  heart  of  Christ,  and  with  the 
strength  transformed  into  "  the  irresistable  might 
of  weakness,  "  with  the  reason  brought  into  com- 
plete captivity  to  the  cross  of  Christ,  and  with  the 
will  surrendered  up  to  the  will  of  God,  this  is 
indeed  the  secret  of  power. 

Let  it  be  noted  that  we  are  speaking  of  one  of 
the  highest  attainments  of  Christianity  now,  and 
not  of  its  rudiments.  The  faith  which  saves  us  is 
the  simplest  exercise  of  the  heart ;  the  prayer  of 
faith  which  saves  the  sick  is  the  most  exacting. 
The  one  is  merely  receptive,  the  other  is  power- 
fully self-surrendering.  Do  you  wish  to  be  saved, 
the  Master  will  only  say  to  you  "  Take  the  cup  of 
salvation  and  call  upon  the  name  of  the  Lord." 
Do  you  wish  to  be  mightily  used  of  the  Lord  in 
the  office  of  raising  the  sick  from  their  beds,  and 
giving  life  to  those  who  are  dead  in  sin,  you  will 
hear  him  asking  the  searching  question  "  Can  ye 
drink  of  the  cup  that  I  drink  of  and  be  baptized 
with  the  baptism  which  I  am  baptized  with  ? "  In 
the  faith  by  which  we  are  converted  and  delivered 


from  the  wrath  to  come  we  do  naught  but  receive 
Jesus  Christ ;  in  the  faith  by  which  we  are  conse- 
crated and  made  vessels  "  meet  for  the  Master's 
use  and  prepared  unto  every  good  work,"  we  give 
ourselves,  soul,  body  and  spirit  to  Jesus  Christ. 

That  we  may  see  how  strenuous  and  searching 
the  requirements  for  prevailing  prayer  are,  let  us 
note  three  explicit  conditions  laid  down  in  Scrip- 
ture, to  which  are  attached  the  promise  of  what- 
soever we  ask  : 

"If  ye  abide  in  me  and  my  words  abide  in  you" 
— John  xv.  7. 

"  If  we  keep  his  commandments  and  do  those 
things  that  are  pleasing  in  his  sight "  —  1  John 
iii.  22. 

"  If  we  ask  anything  according  to  his  will."  — 
1  John  v.  14. 

The  first  requirement,  "  If  ye  abide  in  me  —  "  is 
that  of  intimate  and  unbroken  communion  with 
the  Lord.  Our  justification  depends  upon  our 
being  in  Christ.  Our  power  and  fellowship  de- 
pend upon  our  abiding  in  Christ.  And  this  last 
implies  the  most  constant  and  uninterrupted  in- 
timacy of  the  soul  with  the  Saviour.  It  is  the 
entering  into  his  life  and  having  his  life  so  enter- 


ing  into  us,  that  the  confession  of  the  Apostle 
becomes  realized  in  us  —  "I  live,  yet  not  I,  but 
Christ  liveth  in  me."  Such  abiding  will  stand  in 
exact  proportion  to  our  detachment  from  the  world. 
The  "  double  minded  man  "  who  is  trying  to  make 
the  most  of  both  worlds,  grasping  for  earth's  riches 
and  pleasures  and  yet  wishing  to  secure  the  high- 
est prizes  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  will  inevitably 
waver ;  and  to  such  a  one  the  Scripture  speaks  ex- 
pressly, "  Let  not  that  man  think  that  he  shall 
receive  anything  of  the  Lord."  It  is  a  hard  say- 
ing, but  one  which  in  some  form  or  other  is  con- 
stantly repeated  in  the  word  of  God.  "  Know  ye 
not  that  the  friendship  of  this  world  is  enmity  to 
God  ?  "  asks  the  apostle  James  ;  and  the  converse 
is  hardly  less  true  for  believers,  that  the 
enmity  of  this  world  is  friendship  with  God. 
When,  for  any  cause,  a  Christian  finds  his  earthly 
affections  sundered,  so  that  they  do  not  draw  him 
down,  he  will  at  least  learn  how  much  easier  it  is 
to  set  his  affections  on  things  above.  Never  do 
we  find  the  heart  of  God  opening  so  widely  to  us 
as  when  the  heart  of  the  world  is  closed  against 
us.  There  is  a  homely  wisdom,  therefore,  in  the 
lines  of  an  old  poet,  Henry  Vaughan,  when  for  his 


"  soul's  chief  health "  he  prays  for  these  three 
things : 

"  A  living  faith,  a  heart  of  flesh, 

The  world  an  enemie  ; 
The  last  will  keepe  the  first  two  fresh, 

And  bring  me  where  I'de  be." 

How  easy  it  is  to  understand  the  secret  of 
/aul's,  " /  live,  yet  not  I"  after  he  has  told  us  of 
the  double  crucifixion  which  he  has  endured — "By 
whom  the  world  is  crucified  unto  me  and  I  unto  the 
world."  Some  become  dead  to  the  world  through 
the  pain  or  trial  or  privation  which  cuts  them  off 
from  all  communion  with  it,  though  the  world  is 
still  there  ;  to  others  the  world  becomes  dead  be- 
cause of  the  cutting  off  of  friends,  and  comforts, 
and  fortune,  in  which  their  world  consisted.  In 
either  case,  if  there  be  a  heart  which  truly  longs 
for  God,  it  will  find  a  wonderful  release  towards 
him.  We  are  advocating  no  morbid  asceticism, 
but  simply  interpreting  Scripture ;  and  we  must 
add,  also,  interpreting  the  secret  of  power  in  those 
who  have  been  mightily  prevalent  in  intercession. 
For  in  tracing  the  lives  of  those  most  eminently 
successful  in  the  prayer  of  faith,  as  they  have 
passed  in  review  in  this  volume,  we  have  found 


that,  almost  without  exception,  they  have  been 
those  remarkably  separated  from  the  world,  either 
through  their  own  voluntary  consecration  or  through 
persecutions,  and  trials,  and  sufferings  endured  for 
Christ's  sake. 

The  next  condition  which  we  have  noted  "  If 
we  keep  his  commandments  and  do  those  things 
which  are  pleasing  in  his  sight,"  needs  to  be  em- 
phasized not  less  strongly.     Implicit  obedience,  a 
painstaking  attention   to  the    smallest    and    the 
greatest   requirements  of   the   Lord,   is  what   is 
enjoined.     Rather,  we  might  say,  a  fidelity  in  ser- 
vice which  admits  no  distinction  of  small  or  great 
when  handling  the  commandments  of  the  Lord. 
For  true  obedience  knows  no  such  discriminations 
as  essential  and   non-essential   in   the  divine  re- 
quirements ;  it  has  no  test  fine  enough  for  distin- 
guishing   things    indifferent    from    things    vital 
Among  the  sayings  of    Christ,  our  perfect  ex- 
ampler  in  praying  as  in  living,  we  find  these  two 
professions  which  we  do  well  to  read  together. 
"  /  do  always  those  things  that  please  him** 
"  /  know  that  thou  kearest  me  always** 
Here  again  we  touch  the  heart  of  this  great 
secret    To  obey  well  is  to  pray  well ;  for  not  only 


does  God  love  the  willing  and  the  obedient,  but 
such  know  his  mind  and  understand  how  and  what 
to  ask  as  no  others  can.  One  step  in  compliance 
with  the  Father's  will  will  carry  us  further  in 
knowledge  than  ten  steps  in  mere  studious  search 
into  the  mystery  of  his  ways.  Wonderfully  do 
the  mind  and  purposes  of  God  open  themselves  to 
the  obedient  soul.  "  Who  by  searching  can  find 
out  God  ?  "  But  "  if  any  man  do  his  will  he  shall 
know  of  the  doctrine." 

Therefore  should  we  study  to  exercise  the  most 
minute  and  diligent  obedience  to  the  Lord's  re- 
quirements. "Whatsoever hesaithuntoyou,  do  it." 
In  keeping  this  commandment  there  is  great  re- 
ward and  the  surest  entrance  into  the  promise  of 
Christ,  "  Whatsoever  ye  shall  ask  the  Father  in 
my  name  he  will  give  it  you."  In  all  our  Christian 
life  and  practice  let  us  beware  of  saying  concern- 
ing any  command  of  God  that  it  is  only  a  form, 
and  therefore  it  does  not  matter.  Forms  are 
sometimes  given,  no  doubt,  as  tests  of  our  fidelity, 
as  when  Naaman  is  enjoined  to  wash  seven  times 
in  the  Jordan  for  his  healing,  or  when  the  elders 
are  commanded  to  anoint  the  sick  with  oil  for 
their  recovery.     Forms  are  nothing,  to  be  sure ; 


but  the  obedience  which  responds  to  those  forms 
in  every  minute  particular,  for  the  love  of  Christ,  is 
most  precious  in  the  sight  of  God.  Hence,  sig- 
nificantly, Paul  thanks  God  concerning  the  Roman 
Christians  that  they  had  "  obeyed  from  the  heart 
that  form  of  doctrine  which  was  committed  to 

And,  finally,  "  if  we  ask  anything  according  to 
his  will ; "  which  means  "  that  we  should  be  of  a 
v.ruth  purely,  simply  and  wholly  at  one  with  the 
Dne  Eternal  Will  of  God,  or  altogether  without 
will,  so  that  the  created  will  should  flow  out  into 
the  Eternal  Will,  and  be  swallowed  up  and  lost 
therein,  so  that  the  Eternal  Will  alone  should  do 
and  leave  undone  in  us."*  And  let  us  not  be 
alarmed  at  this  requirement,  as  though  it  meant 
pains,  racks,  tortures,  the  loss  of  our  lives,  the 
death  of  our  children,  and  everything  else  which 
is  dreadful  to  contemplate.  Why  is  it  that  we 
have  associated  such  things  with  the  prayer,  "  Thy 
will  be  done  ? "  Let  us  search  the  Scriptures  and 
see  what  God's  revealed  will  is.  "  For  this  is  the 
will  of  God  even  your  sanctification"  f  "And  this 
is  the  will  of  him  that  sent  me,  that  every  one  that 

•  Tbeologia  Gcnnsmca,  p.  go 


seeth  the  Son  and  believeth  on  him  may  have  ever- 
lasting life."  *  "  Who  will  have  all  men  to  be 
saved  and  to  come  unto  the  knowledge  of  the 
truth."  f  These  and  many  other  texts,  if  we  had 
space  to  quote  them,  point  in  one  direction,  and 
indicate  that  the  will  of  God  is  our  health  and  not 
our  hurt ;  our  weal  and  not  our  woe ;  our  life  and 
not  our  death.  It  must  be  the  will  of  God  that 
all  that  is  contrary  to  him  should  be  destroyed. 
"  Every  plant  which  my  heavenly  Father  hath  not 
planted  shall  be  rooted  up."  Sin,  sickness  and 
death  are  contrary  to  God  ;  they  are  not  plants  of 
his  planting,  but  tares  which  the  enemy  has  sown 
in  his  field.  Therefore  they  are  to  be  plucked  up, 
and  we  may  be  certain  that  we  are  working  in  the 
line  of  his  will  when  we  are  seeking  to  eradicate 
them.  What,  then,  if  we  should  chiefly  aim  in  our 
ministry  at  the  sick  bed  to  set  forth  this  blessed 
disposition  and  purpose  of  the  divine  will  ?  What 
if,  instead  of  laying  such  stress  on  patient  sub« 
mission  to  pain  and  bodily  disorder  as  things  in- 
evitable, we  should  seek  to  lift  the  sufferer  up  into 
harmony  with  God,  in  whom  there  is  no  sickness 
and  no  disorder  ?    And  then  when  we  pray  "  thy 

*  John  ri  40. 
♦  4. 


will  be  done"  we  shall  mean  let  sickness  be  de- 
stroyed ;  let  the  sufferer  be  delivered  from  the 
racks  and  tortures  of  pain's  inquisition;  let  sin 
and  the  bitter  fruit  of  sin  in  these  poor  tormented 
bodies  be  plucked  up  together.  In  praying  thus 
we  must  surely  be  setting  our  faces  in  the  right 
direction.  For  looking  upward  for  the  key  of  our 
petition,  "  Thy  will  be  done  on  earth,"  we  hear 
"as  it  is  in  heaven."  But  in  heaven  there  is  cer- 
tainly no  sin,  sickness  or  death;  and  so  we  are  en- 
joined to  ask  and  strive  and  labor  that  there  be  none 
on  earth.  And  looking  forward  to  the  predicted 
consummation  of  Christ's  redemptive  work,  when 
God's  will  shall  be  actually  done  on  earth,  we  read 
the  glowing  words :  "And  there  shall  be  no  more 
death,  neither  sorrow  nor  crying,  neither  shad  there 
be  any  more  pain."  Here  then  is  the  clearly  de- 
fined pattern,  above  us,  and  before  us;  and  amid 
all  the  tangled  mysteries  of  evil,  we  should  set  our 
faces  like  a  flint  to  pray  it  out  and  work  it  out  ink 
blessed  fulfillment.  And  while  we  recognize  the 
doctrine  of  the  Divine  Sovereignty,  to  which  we 
have  elsewhere  referred,  thir  should  no  more  pre- 
vent our  asking  in  faith  for  the  healing  of  our 
bodies,  than  the  doctrine  of  election  should  prevent 



our  asking  with  the  fullest  assurance  for  the  salva- 
tion of  our  souls.  These  observations  in  this  clos- 
ing chapter,  let  it  be  remembered,  are  especially 
for  such  as  may  be  called  to  exercise  the  minis- 
try of  healing.  If  there  are  those  who  desire  this 
office,  we  believe  they  should  seek,  with  all  their 
heart  the  consecration,  the  separation  from  the 
world  and  the  surrender  to  God's  will,  which  the 
Scriptures  enjoin  as  conditions  of  prevailing  prayer. 
To  the  sick,  sensible  of  their  lack  of  these  at- 
tainments, and  fearing  that  their  case  cannot  be 
reached  on  that  account,  we  would  speak  a  differ- 
ent word,  even  the  word  of  the  Master — "Be  not 
afraid,  only  believe. "  Christ  comes  to  the  sinner, 
helpless,  guilty,  lost,  and  saves  him  just  as  he  finds 
him.  And  so  with  the  sufferer,  when  he  lies 
"stripped  of  his  raiment,  wounded  and  half  dead." 
As  the  good  Samaritan  "came  where  hs  was  and 
bound  up  his  wounds,  pouring  in  oil  and  wine,"  so 
Jesus  will  take  the  patient  just  where  he  is,  if  he 
takes  him  at  all.  We  have  not  to  make  ourselves 
better  in  order  to  be  healed,  either  spiritually  or 
physically.  Therefore  let  the  sufferer  take  courage 
and  lift  up  his  weary  head.  Oh,  ye  unnumbered 
subjects  of  pain  and  bodily  torture,  with  hands 


and  feet  which  you  would  use  so  diligently  and 
swiftly  in  the  service  of  your  Lord  if  they  were 
only  released  from  the  fetters  which  bind  them! 
Oh,  ye  countless  victims  of  pain  and  disorder,  who 
have  never  consecrated  either  your  souls  or  your 
bodies  to  the  service  of  him  who  made  them,  hear 
all  of  you  that  voice  of  him  who  speaketh  from 
heaven,  saying,  "  I  am  the  Lord  that  healeth  thee.  *' 
And  if  the  promises  of  God  and  the  teachings  of 
Scripture  and  the  testimonies  of  the  healed  set 
forth  in  this  book  might  throw  one  ray  of  hope  or 
alleviation  into  your  sick  chambers,  it  would  repay 
amply  the  pains  we  have  taken  in  its  preparation, 
and  more  than  compensate  us  for  any  reproach 
we  may  incur  for  having  borne  witness  to  a  doc- 
trine of  which  many,  as  yet,  can  hear  only  with 
impatience  and  derision.  And  to  this  last  word 
we  would  join  a  prayer  which  has  come  down  to 
us  from  a  very  ancient  liturgy: 

"remember,  o  lord,  those  who  are  diseased  and 
sick,  and  those  who  are  troubled  by  unclean 
spirits;  and  do  thou  who  art  god,  speedily  heal 
and  deliver  them." 


Note  A.     (P.  58.) 


Those  who  have  never  had  their  attention  called 
to  the  statements  of  the  Christian  fathers  respect- 
ing the  continuance  of  miracles  in  their  day,  will 
doubtless  be  surprised  at  this  conclusion  of  Uhl- 
horn.  But  other  eminent  writers  on  the  early 
history  of  the  church  are  equally  emphatic.  And 
we  are  persuaded  that  no  one  who  has  looked  care- 
fully into  the  subject  will  consider  it  an  easy  task 
to  refute  this  conclusion. 

The  most  ingenious  attempt  to  break  the  force 
of  the  patristic  testimony  on  this  subject,  which 
we  have  met,  is  that  of  Rev.  Dr.  Geo.  W.  Samson, 
in  an  article,  "Are  there  Miracles  of  Healing?"  in 
"The  Christian  at  Work,"  June  1st,  1882.  His 
position  is  that  "no  evidence  of  the  continuance 
or  miracles  after  the  apostolic  age  is  presented  by 
the  early  Christian  writers. "  And  his  theory  is, 
that  the  seeming  testimonies  to  such  continuance 


are  written  in  a  kind  of  historical  present  tense, 
the  real  reference  being  to  the  days  of  the  apos- 
tles, and  not  the  times  of  the  writers.  He  applies 
this  method  somewhat  plausibly  to  the  statements 
of  Irenaeus,  but  refrains,  we  think  very  wisely, 
from  using  it  upon  the  other  witnesses.  When, 
as  in  the  testimony  of  Tertullian  and  Augustine, 
for  example,  names  and  places  are  given,  it  is 
clearly  quite  impossible  to  throw  the  allusion  back 
to  apostolic  times.  We  insert  a  few  additional 
testimonies  from  the  fathers,  and  ask  the  candid 
reader  to  see  how  impossible  it  is  to  make  them 
refer  to  the  times  of  the  apostles. 
Tertullian  says: 

"Even  Severns  himself,  the  father  of  Antonine,  was  graciously 
mindful  of  the  Christians.  For  he  sought  out  the  Christian  Pro- 
culus,  surnamed  Torpacion,  the  steward  of  Euhodias,  and  in  gaat- 
itude  for  his  once  having  cured  him  by  anointing,  he  kept  him  in 
hi;-  palace  till  the  day  of  his  death."     (Ad.  Scap.  4.) 

We  believe  no  one  can  candidly  read  the  para- 
graph in  which  this  sentence  stands  without  being 
persuaded  that  the  reference  is  to  healing  by 
supernatural  means. 

Origen,  commenting  on  the  words,  "the  demon- 
stration of  the  Spirit  and  of  power,"  says: 



•Of  'power'  because  of  the  signs  and  wonders  which  we  must 
believe  to  have  been  performed,  both  on  many  other  grounds  and 
on  this,  that  traces  of  them  are  still  preserved  among  those  who  regit 
late  their  lives  by  the  precepts  of  the  gospel. "  (Contra  Celsum,  B,  1, 
Chap.  II.) 

Again,  he  says: 

"And  there  are  still  preservea  among  Christians  traces  of  that 
Holy  Spirit  which  appeared  in  the  form  of  a  dove.  They  expel 
evil  spirits,  and  perform  many  cures  and  foresee  certain  events 
according  to  the  will  of  the  Logos."    (Id.  B.  1,  xlvii.) 

Once  more: 

"We  assert  that  the  whole  habitable  world  contains  evidence  of 
tke  works  of  Jesus,  in  the  existence  of  those  churches  of  God 
which  have  been  founded  through  Him  by  those  who  have  been 
converted  from  the  practice  of  innumerable  sins.  And  the  name 
of  Jesus  can  still  remove  distractions  from  the  minds  of  men  and 
expel  demons,  and  also  take  away  diseases."     (Id.  B.  I,  lxvii.) 

Who  can  deny  that  these  are  plain  assertions  of 
the  continuance  of  miracles  in  the  writer's  day? 

Chrysostom,  in  his  Libra  Contra  Gentiles,  com- 
menting on  John  xiv:  12: 

•He  that  believeth  on  me,  the  works  that  I  do  shall  he  do  also, 
and  greater  works,"  etc.,  appeals  to  the  miracles  recorded  in  the 
Acts  of  the  Apostles  in  proof  of  the  truth  of  this  promise,  and 
then  adds:  "But  if  any  one  assert  that  these  are  mere  smoke  and 
a  fictitious  wonder  unworthy  of  credit,  LET  us  VIEW  THOSE  OF  THE 


present  DAY,  which  are  calculated  both  to  stop  and  to  put  to 
shame  the  blaspheming  mouth,  and  to  check  the  unbridled  tongue. 
For  throughout  our  whole  habitable  world,  there  is  not  a  country,  a 
nation,  or  a  city,  where  these  wonders  are  not  commonly  spoken  of, 
which,  if  figments,  would  never  have  occasioned  so  much  admira- 
tion. And  you  yourselves,  indeed,  might  testify  for  us  to  this. 
For  we  shall  have  no  occasion  to  receive  confirmation  of  what  we 
assert  from  others,  seeing  that  you  yourselves,  our  opponents, 
supply  us  therewith."  (Logos  pros  Hellenas  —  Ed.  Par,  1621, 
Tom  I,  p.  728-732.) 

We  now  reproduce  the  famous  paragraph  from 
Irenaeus  entire,  that  the  reader  may  judge  whether 
the  writer  is  speaking  of  his  own  or  of  apostolic 

"If,  however,  they  maintain  that  the  Lord,  too,  performed  such 
works  simply  in  appearance,  we  shall  refer  them  to  the  prophet- 
ical writings,  and  prove  from  these  both  that  all  things  were  thus 
predicted  regarding  Him,  and  did  take  place  undoubtedly,  and 
that  He  is  the  only  Son  of  God.  Wherefore,  also,  those  who  are 
in  truth  His  disciples,  receiving  grace  from  Him,  do  in  His  name 
perform  (miracles),  so  as  to  promote  the  welfare  of  other  men, 
according  to  the  gift  which  each  one  has  received  from  Him.  For 
some  do  certainly  and  truly  drive  out  devils,  so  that  those  who 
have  thus  been  cleansed  from  evil  spirits  frequently  both  believe 
[in  Christ]  and  join  themselves  to  the  church.  Others  have  fore- 
knowledge of  things  to  come;  they  see  visions,  and  utter  proph- 
etic expressions.  Others,  still,  heal  the  sick  by  laying  their  hands 
upon  them,  and  they  are  made  whole.  Yea,  moreover,  as  I  have 
said,  the  dead  even  have  been  raised  up,  and  remained  among  us 



for  many  years.  And  what  shall  I  more  say?  It  is  not  possible 
to  name  the  number  of  the  gifts  which  the  church,  [scattered] 
throughout  the  whole  world,  has  received  from  God,  in  the  name 
of  Jesus  Christ,  who  was  crucified  under  Pontius  Pilate,  and  which 
she  exerts  day  by  day  for  the  benefit  of  the  Gentiles,  neither  prac- 
tising deception  upon  any,  nor  taking  any  reward  from  them  [on 
account  of  such  miraculous  interpositions].  For  as  she  has  re- 
ceived freely  from  God,  freely  also  does  she  minister  [to  others] . 

Nor  does  she  perform  anything  by  means  of  angelic  invocations, 
or  by  incantations,  or  by  any  other  wicked,  curious  art;  but  direct- 
ing her  prayers  to  the  Lord  who  made  all  things,  in  a  pure,  sincere 
and  straightforward  spirit,  and  calling  upon  the  name  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  she  has  been  accustomed  to  work  miracles  for  the 
advantage  of  mankind,  and  not  to  lead  them  into  error.  If,  there- 
fore, the  name  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  even  now  confers  benefits, 
and  cures  thoroughly  and  effectually  all  who  anywhere  believe  on 
Him,  but  not  that  of  Simon,  or  Menander,  or  Carpocrates,  or  any 
other  man  whatever,  it  is  manifest  that  when  he  was  made  man  he 
held  fellowship  with  His  own  creation  and  did  all  things  through 
the  power  of  God,  according  to  the  will  of  the  Father  of  all,  as 
the  prophets  had  foretold."     (Adv.  Haer  B.  I,  xxxii.) 

We  have  in  this  case,  as  in  the  other  quotations, 
used  the  translation  of  the  Ante-Nicene  Christian 
Library,  T.  &  T.  Clark,  Edinburgh. 

Mosheim,  referring  to  the  alleged  cures  and  ex- 
pulsion of  demons  in  the  2d  century,  says: 

"That  those  gifts  of  the  Spirit  which  are  commonly  termed 
miraculous,  were  liberally  imparted  by  Heaven  to  numbers  of  the 
Christians,  not  only  in  this,  but  likewise  in  the  succeeding  age,  and 


more  especially  to  those  who  devoted  themselves  to  the  propaga- 
tion of  the  gospel  among  the  heathen,  has,  on  the  faith  of  the  con- 
current testimony  of  the  ancient  fathers,  been  hitherto  universally 
credited  throughout  the  Christian  world.  Nor  does  it  appear  that 
in  our  belief  as  to  this  we  can  with  the  least  propriety  be  said  to 
have  embraced  anything  contrary  to  sound  reason.  Only  let  it  be 
considered  that  the  writers  on  whose  testimony  we  rely  were  all 
of  them  men  of  gravity  and  worth,  who  could  feel  no  inclination 
to  deceive;  that  they  were  in  part  philosophers;  that  in  point  of 
residence  and  country  they  were  far  separated  from  each  other; 
that  their  report  is  not  grounded  on  mere  hearsay,  but  upon  what 
they  state  themselves  to  have  witnessed  with  their  own  eyes;  that 
they  call  on  God  in  the  most  solemn  manner  to  attest  its  truth 
(vid  Origen  contra  Celsum,  L.  I,  p.  35),  and  lastly  that  they  do  not 
pretend  to  have  themselves  possessed  the  power  of  working  mira- 
cles, but  merely  attribute  it  to  others;  and  let  me  ask  what  reason 
can  there  possibly  be  assigned  that  should  induce  us  to  withhold 
from  them  our  implicit  confidence."  (Historical  Commentaries, 
Century  II,  sect.  5,  Note.) 

The  extended  note  of  Mosheim  from  which  we 
make  this  extract  is  well  worth  the  reader's  exam- 
ination in  full.  It  contains  the  strong  avowal  that 
the  opinion  above  quoted  of  the  continuance  of  mir- 
acles is  the  Catholic  view;  and  it  criticises  at  length 
the  opposite  theory  as  propounded  by  his  contem- 
porary Middleton,  which  he  says  the  author  was 
compelled  in  a  later  work  practically  to  retract. 


Note  B.     (P.  80.) 


Rev.  Morgan  Edwards,  in  "Materials  towards  a 
History  of  American  Baptists,"  Vol.  I,  p.  23, 
speaking  of  Rev.  Owen  Thomas,  once  pastor  at 
Welch  Tract,  Del.,  says: 

"Mr.  Thomas  left  behind  him  the  following  remarkable  note: 
'I  have  been  called  upon  three  times  to  anoint  the  sick  with  oil 
for  recovery.  The  effect  was  surprising  in  every  case;  but  in  none 
more  so  than  in  that  of  our  brother,  Rynallt  Howell.  He  was  so 
sore  with  the  bruises  of  the  waggon  when  he  was  anointed  that  he 
could  not  bear  to  be  turned  in  bed  otherwise  than  with  the  sheet; 
the  next  day  he  was  so  well  that  he  went  to  meeting.  I  have  often 
wondered  that  this  rite  is  so  much  neglected,  as  the  precept  is  so 
plain  and  the  effects  have  been  so  salutary.'  " 

On  page  28  of  the  same  work  Mr.  Edwards 
says,  referring  to  Rev.  Hugh  Davis,  pastor  of  Great 
Valley  church: 

"Some  years  before  his  death  he  had  a  severe  pain  in  his  arm, 
which  gradually  wasted  the  limb  and  made  life  a  burden.  After 
trying  many  remedies  he  sent  for  the  elders  of  the  church  to  anoint 
him  with  oil,  according  to  James  v  114- 17.  The  effect  was  a  per- 
fect cure,  so  far  that  the  pain  never  returned.  One  of  the  elders 
concerned  (from  whom  I  had  this  relation)  is  yet  alive  [1 770],  and 
succeeds  Mr.  Hugh  Davis  in  the  ministry,  viz.  Rev.  John  Davis." 



He  gives  several  other  like  incidents,  and  makes 
the  following  observation  upon  the  custom: 

"The  present  generation  of  Baptists  in  Pennsylvania  and  the 
several  other  colonies  (German  Baptists  excepted)  have  somehow 
reasoned  themselves  out  of  the  practice  of  anointing  the  sick  for 
recovery,  not  believing  that  the  same  kind  of  reasoning  would  lead 
them  to  discontinue  every  positive  rite,  as  it  actually  led  Barclay 
and  thousands  besides.  Our  pious  forefathers  in  this  province 
practiced  the  rite  frequently  and  successfully,  as  might  be  shown. 
(See  Examples,  pp.  23,  28.)  The  same  may  be  said  of  the  Bap- 
tists of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland.  Their  progenitors  also  used 
the  salutary  unction,  whereof  some  narrations  have  been  made 


Note  C.    (P.  22.) 


SINCE  the  first  edition  of  this  work  was  pub- 
lished some  of  its  critics  have  sharply  arraigned 
it  because  of  its  failure  to  discredit  the  last  part  of 
Mark's  Gospel,  viz. ,  the  sixteenth  chapter,  from 
verse  9th  to  the  end. 

After  an  extended  examination  of  the  whole 
question,  it  seemed  to  the  author  that  the  doubts 
which  have  been  thrown  upon  the  passage  have  so 
rapidly  diminished,  and  have  now  so  nearly  reached 
the  vanishing  point,  that  it  was  hardly  worthwhile 
to  disturb  the  reader's  mind  with  them.  It  is  a 
grave  consideration  as  to  how  much  of  questioning 
in  regard  to  such  texts  the  preacher  or  the  writei 
is  justified  in  raising.  It  seems  to  us  that  unless 
the  evidence  against  them  considerably  preponder- 
ates,  it  is  best  to  say  nothing  about  the  uncertainty. 
In  this  case,  we  believe  that  the  evidence  in  favor 
of  the  genuineness  of  the  passage  vastly  outweighs 
that  against  it.  We  have  not  room  to  set  forth 
the  grounds  of  this  conviction,  but  would  refer  the 
reader  to  Olshausen's  very  strong  and  to  us  very 
conclusive  defence  of  this    side  of  the  question. 


The  fact  that  so  early  a  writer  as  Irenaeus  quotes 
this  passage  as  a  part  of  Mark's  Gospel,  both  Ols- 
hausen  and  Lange  consider  to  be  a  powerful 
argument  in  its  favor.  When  we  consider  that 
Irenaeus  was  only  a  step  removed  from  the  apos- 
tles, being  a  disciple  of  Polycarp  who  was  the 
disciple  of  John,  we  shall  see  how  important  a 
consideration  this  is.  The  view  of  Olshausen  that 
this  part  was  accidentally  torn  off  from  some 
ancient  manuscript,  and  the  loss  perpetuated  by 
the  transcribers,  is  far  more  reasonable,  it  seems 
to  us.  than  that  it  was  an  addition  by  a  later  hand. 
For  a  full  and  satisfactory  discussion  of  the  whole 
question  we  would  refer  the  reader  to  the  fresh  and 
able  Commentary  of  Morrison.  His  conclusion  in 
regard  to  the  matter  is  as  follows:  Speaking  of 
the  view  that  this  passage  is  spurious,  he  says: 
"This  notion  has  grown  into  a  romance  of  criticism 
which  has  thrown  a  spell  of  doubt  over  spirits  that 
have  not  the  least  sympathy  with  Biblical  skepti- 
cism. But  we  have  shown  in  a  full  discussion  of 
the  subject  in  the  body  of  the  Commentary  that 
the  romance  has  culminated.  There  would  appear 
to  be  no  good  reason  for  questioning  the  authority  of 
the  passage" — Introduction  to  Commentary  on 


Note  D.     (P.  160.) 


We  cannot  too  strongly  commend  the  biography 
of  this  excellent  man,  from  which  we  have  made  this 
brief  extract.  It  is  the  most  remarkable  exempli- 
fication of  the  power  of  faith  and  of  the  possibili- 
ties of  intercessory  prayer  which  we  have  ever 
met.  At  the  same  time  it  is  a  life  the  farthest 
removed  from  anything  of  extravagance  and  high 
assumption.  We  give  one  or  two  further  extracts 
from  it  for  the  benefit  of  such  as  may  not  be  able 
to  read  the  entire  book.  The  first  is  a  reference 
to  the  remarkable  instance  which  we  have  cited: — 

"It  was  especially, "  he  writes,  "in  that  awful  case  of  sickness 
(page  160)  that  I  discovered  how  the  testamentary  words  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  'They  shall  lay  hands  on  the  sick,  and  they 
shall  recover,'  are  not  yet  quite  out  of  power,  if  applied  with  an 
humble,  penitent,  and  believing  heart.  Everything  concerning  ill- 
nesses in  my  parish  began  to  be  changed.  Seldom  did  a  medical 
man  appear  in  it;  the  people  would  rather  pray.  Certain  diseases, 
especially  among  new-born  children,  seemed  entirely  to  cease,  and 
the  general  state  of  health  became  better  than  it  was  before." 

"Yet  never  in  the  least  did  Blumhardt  urge  the  people  to  give 
up  medical  means;  they  did  it  all  of  their  own  accord.  Nor  did 
he  consider  his  personal  presence  and  mediation  necessary.  Hun- 



dreds  and  thousands  that  came,  in  course  of  time,  from  all  parts 
of  Europe — yea,  from  the  remotest  parts  of  the  globe — or  ap- 
plied to  him,  either  through  friends  and  relations  or  by  letter,  were 
directed  by  him  to  search  themselves  before  the  Almighty,  to  re- 
pent, to  give  themselves  entirely  up  to  God,  with  all  their  families, 
and  He  would  then,  in  answer  to  a  child-like  petition  as  to  their 
peculiar  necessities,  do  according  to  His  holy  pleasure.  But  others 
without  number  came  or  were  brought  to  M5ttlingen,  especially  on 
days  of  public  worship;  scores  of  them  were  accommodated  inside 
the  church,  outside  in  the  church-yard,  or  listened  to  the  sermon 
from  neighboring  houses.  From  early  in  the  morning  till  after  the 
third  service,  in  the  evening,  Blumhardt  had  scarcely  a  minute 
of  rest.  Hundreds  came,  one  after  another,  desiring  to  lay  their 
spiritual  and  bodily  complaints  in  particular  before  him. " 

"I  myself,"  continues  Mr.  Spittler,  "was  an  eye-witness  during 
eighteen  months.  Two  years  after  the  beginning  of  the  revival, 
one  Sunday  morning,  a  friend  and  I  counted  more  than  a  hun- 
dred towns  and  villages  of  Wflrtemburg  and  the  Grand  Duchy  of 
Baden,  from  which  either  a  few  or  whole  bands  of  thirty  or  fifty 
had  come  to  hear  the  Word  of  God,  or  to  receive  release  from 
diseases.  It  would  take  me  hours  to  testify  what  the  Lord  has, 
through  a  series  of  years,  done  for  many  a  distressed  family  or 
individual,  who,  when  all  human  means  seemed  to  fail,  looked  up 
to  God  as  a  compassionate  and  merciful  Father.  God  knows  the 
cases,  and  those  who  are  concerned  know  them,  and  will  praise 
Him  here  on  earth  as  long  as  their  breath  is  within  them.  Blum- 
hardt's  daily  prayer  and  sigh  before  the  Lord  was,  'Oh,  that  all 
people  would  learn  again  to  pray  and  bring  all  their  matters  before 
their  Heavenly  Father!'  " — pp.  30-32. 

Pastor  Blumhardt  did  not  like  to  dilate  on  these  answers  to 
prayer.     Still  they  were  known.     He  held  that  the  signs  men- 



tioned  by  our  risen  Saviour  (Mark  xvi,  18)  embraced  a  promise 
for  all  times,  and  that  if  the  signs  were  now  lacking  it  was 
through  a  want  of  faith  in  the  Church.  He  took  the  Lord  at 
his  word.  Many  a  captive  who  had  been  enthralled  bodily  and 
mentally  by  Satan  went  away  from  Bad  Boll  rejoicing  in  a  liberty 
wherewith  Christ  had,  in  both  respects,  made  him  free.  Often,  as 
Jiose  who  had  left  wrote  to  tell  of  their  healing,  and  of  the  change 
that  had  passed  over  their  life,  Blumhardt  would  say  with  energy, 
"Thank  God,  the  God  of  our  fathers  still  lives." 

An  esteemed  professor  of  the  school  of  medicine  at  the  Univer- 
sity of  Tiibingen,  resolved,  during  one  of  his  vacations,  to  go  and 
make  personal  inquiries  about  these  cases  of  healing.  Curiosity 
mainly  moved  him.  He  asked  the  pastor  to  give  him  some  proofs 
of  the  reality  of  these  cures.  Blumhardt  said,  "Give  yourself  time, 
and  take  out  of  these  drawers  of  my  writing-table  the  letters  I  have 
received.  Take  out  as  many  as  you  please.  Examine  the  testi- 
mony of  others  as  to  the  answers  to  prayer  for  healing.  I  know  of 
no  other  proof  I  can  give."  We  give  the  words  of  an  intelligent 
visitor  at  Bad  Boll:  "This  professor  has  often  since  related  to  me 
that  Blumhardt  (not  at  all  wishing  to  bias  his  judgment)  left  him 
alone  to  peruse  the  letters.  He  confessed  that  during  the  reading 
of  these  letters,  some  of  which  he  thought  to  be  'most  remarkable,' 
his  astonishment  grew  more  and  more,  and  it  became  difficult  to 
slim  to  continue  to  doubt,  as  he  had  done,  the  reality  of  these 
things,  and  still  more  difficult  knowing  the  man  whose  communi- 
cation made  the  deepest  impression  upon  him  to  be  a  thoroughly 
open  and  honorable  character,  and  least  likely  to  lend  himself  to 
anything  approaching  a  selfish  fraud." — pp.  59-61. 

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